The eyes of the Big Blue Nation will be on Kentucky’s quarterbacks during tonight’s Blue/White Game. Mark Stoops expects fans to see solid play from Gunnar Hoak, Terry Wilson and Danny Clark, but tonight’s performance will not decide who will be the starter when the Cats open the season against Central Michigan.
Kentucky’s head coach told the Kentucky Sports Radio audience he is in no rush to name a starter.
“It’s too early. We’ve had 15 practices. It’s an important decision. You wanna give everybody an opportunity to compete and win the job. There’s really no rush. I don’t feel like I’m in a situation where you gotta panic and make that decision right away.”
Whoever wins the job, Stoops is confident the offense is in good hands.
“They’ve played very well in the second part of the spring and I’ve been pleased,” Stoops said. “I’ll tell you this: there’s no panic in me on who takes the reins at quarterback next year in the opener.”
The offense did not click very well at the beginning of the spring, but as the play around the quarterbacks has improved, so have the signal-callers.
“I really feel like the offense made a big jump. The quarterbacks are playing well, but it’s really on the players around them. We’ve seen some playmakers and some guys make some competitive catches.”
Stoops did not reveal which quarterback he believes is playing the best right now, but he did say that Hoak and Wilson are the Cats’ two best options.
“The top two guys are definitely Gunnar and Terry. They’re played very well. Gunnar has the experience. He’s been around. He’s very poised. He looked very good last spring. He’s been around here a while, so I like what Gunnar’s doing. The same thing with Terry. Terry’s made a bunch of improvement, as you would expect. He’s very, very talented. The second part of the spring he’s been more comfortable with the offense. Receivers are making competitive catches and we’ve been very efficient.”
Stoops also took time to praise Danny Clark’s mentality and work ethic.
“Talk about a competitor, Danny Clark is the same way. He’s a winner,” Stoops said. “He may have not looked as pretty as some other guys just sitting out there throwing on air and in 7-on-7, but if you put him in a game-like situation, he’s a competitor. He’s a two-time state champion winner in Ohio his junior and senior year. That carries onto the field here. He’s very competitive and he makes plays when he has to. So I’ve been impressed with Danny.”
The quarterbacks sound great. Tonight at 6:30 we’ll see if they can live up to the hype under the lights at Kroger Field.