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3 things Mark Stoops had to say about Kentucky’s quarterback situation



Kentucky’s struggling passing game has been the main topic of conversation among Kentucky fans. A problem without a quick fix, time is running out to find solutions with only four games remaining in the 2020 season.

Who will Mark Stoops turn to? After he was sidelined by a wrist injury against Georgia, Terry Wilson returned to practice last week. Joey Gatewood started in place of the senior and as expected, the first-time starter had little success throwing the ball vertically against Georgia’s talented defense.

Entering the final stretch of the season, Kentucky could find a little momentum in the passing game against a Vanderbilt team that ranks near the bottom of the SEC in pass defense, allowing just shy of 300 yards a game. An opportunity to change the narrative for at least a week, Stoops is waiting to say who will start at quarterback against the Commodores. He did have this to say about about the quarterback situation at Monday’s press conference.

How do you balance playing for the future when picking a QB? 

“The person who gives us the best opportunity to win is who we’re going with because we’re here to win games. There is a balance there. I want to continue to be fair and to be right to Terry and if he gives us the best opportunity to win games, he’ll be in there. He did have a good week of practice last week. With that being said, I still think Joey and Beau (Allen) have great upside and I want to see them.

“It’s difficult because as you see every possession, every play, it’s so important. That position is unlike others. At other positions we rotate guys in constantly and it’s not an issue because we need to rotate and we need to get bodies in there. However, at that position it’s very difficult. It feels like if you’re shuffling guys at that position you’re already reaching. It’s difficult because the flow of the game is so important, every possession is so important. We’re in a lot of close games so, I understand the question. It’s difficult either way, but again, I’m going to go with the guy that gives us the best opportunity to win on this coming Saturday. With that being said, sure, I would love to continue to get Joey some reps and I’d like to see Beau in there as well.”

Jacob Noger | UK Athletics

What is Stoops looking for from his QBs?

“Consistency. We’ve shown flashes and I think that goes with us as well, giving them a good opportunity, keeping people off balanced. We have to do a good job as coaches putting them in position. We are successful at moving the football when we’re balanced, when we can run the ball effectively. When we’re efficient running the ball it opens up a lot. When we’ve struggled we’ve been inefficient at running the football. We have to get the ball downfield. We’ve gotta be more aggressive. We’ve got to continue to improve at that position.”

Could there be some sort of Wildcat package with Gatewood and Terry?

“Coming into the year you tried to build off some of the Q(B)-run game and some of the designed Q-run game reads that we had a year ago with Lynn (Bowden), with also obviously being able to throw the ball downfield and handing it to our running backs. We’ve tried to build on that and that hasn’t been effective all the time. It’s been effective at times but we’ve been inconsistent so obviously we need to get better at those reads, the reads where the quarterbacks involved, whether it’s a give to the running back or a pull for the QB. There’s several runs there, again, we talk about week to week that maybe we’re off a play here or a play there. I think that’s going to happen with quarterbacks.

“The more opportunity they have, the better they get at it. We also have to be able to throw the football off that. That’s the big area where we’ve fallen short. There’s been a few games where we’ve been ineffective at both, running the ball and throwing the ball, so that’s not gonna give you an opportunity to win. Bottom line is we’ve gotta continue to improve in the Q-run game and we have to get the ball downfield. Getting the ball downfield is a combination of things: It’s protection, it’s the quarterback giving the receivers an opportunity to tactic the ball, it’s receivers getting open and making competitive catches.”


Article written by Nick Roush

"Look upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole." @RoushKSR

30 Comments for 3 things Mark Stoops had to say about Kentucky’s quarterback situation

  1. wes720
    4:45 pm November 9, 2020 Permalink

    “I want to continue to be fair and to be right to Terry” This ain’t little league, if he’s not the best person at the QB position he shouldn’t be playing.

    • KYCat4EVER
      7:29 pm November 9, 2020 Permalink

      wes720… SPOT ON!
      Great Post!

      Coach Stoop-id continues to speak and behave as a coach who is NOT a winner nor has the determination to “do what you have to legally do to WIN”!

      It’s time to FIRE this soft Coach and go out and hire a head coach that can take our aUK football program to the next level!


    • nocode96
      7:37 pm November 9, 2020 Permalink

      Has Stoops not taken UK football to the next level already? Some people and their delusions of grandeur. We ain’t Bama, or Georgia, or Florida…. we aren’t anyone. Or, at least, we weren’t until Stoops came here and took over. Something tells me you’re older, part of that boomer generation where everything is “give me it, it’s mine”. You want microwaved success. Stoops is doing a fine job. I admit it’s boring, and frustrating football and I also concede that this isn’t little league and that if Terry isn’t cutting it, on to the next. But…. to act as if he isn’t the best thing to happen to Kentucky football in a long time is asinine. To be fair, most everything you say is asinine, so it’s par for the course.

    • satcheluk
      5:26 pm November 10, 2020 Permalink

      D-bag alert!

  2. Bluenblood
    4:46 pm November 9, 2020 Permalink

    Vandy game is the final litmus test for ‘offensive’ offense coaching /play-calling…..don’t need to rehash what’s been said already y the fanbase. Stoops ‘Coachspeak’ is getting old too. Please just do the work, coach em up and beat Vandy by 3-4 touchdowns. Go CATS

  3. oldfanallin
    4:58 pm November 9, 2020 Permalink

    Based on the depth chart and comments, I see no change in the offense. Stoops is convinced they just have to do the same stuff only better.


    • UKinIN
      5:17 pm November 9, 2020 Permalink

      Totally agree. Stoops coaches like the offense can only lose the game.

    • Thedem
      6:54 pm November 9, 2020 Permalink

      Great comment UKinIN … I echo. We are not Ala, Ga, Fla, LSU, etc. Out margin for error is very slim. Stoops wants to control the tempo, move the chains, etc. Keep the D in good position. That just makes our margin even less. Sometimes you have to outscore the other team.

    • oldfanallin
      7:28 pm November 9, 2020 Permalink

      The defense gets the same rest if the offense scores too fast or if they go 3 and out. Seems like being up 3 or more points would encourage the defense to suck it up.

    • kjd
      8:45 pm November 9, 2020 Permalink

      Stoops states we need to run better set up downfield passing. Duh! The opposing D is stuffing the box, thus the struggle running. Passing 10-30 yds is required to open things up. I do not under Stoops coaching at all.

  4. blueballs80
    5:20 pm November 9, 2020 Permalink

    Terry has always looked good in practice. Doesn’t translate to game time consistently. We will see Wilson out there first.

  5. zoupman
    5:20 pm November 9, 2020 Permalink

    I hope team plays well against Vandy and all 3 QB’s get some quality snaps.

  6. eb4ukcats
    5:34 pm November 9, 2020 Permalink

    He says he like, to see them play, but yet I guarantee you Allen won’t get a minute reguardless what the score is.

  7. CatfaninCinci
    6:02 pm November 9, 2020 Permalink

    “We gotta do right by Terry…”

    The allegiance to Terry Wilson is costing you WR recruits.

    • cats646
      7:10 am November 10, 2020 Permalink

      No it isn’t. Our horrible playcalling is costing us WR recruits.

  8. oldfanallin
    6:14 pm November 9, 2020 Permalink

    Mark Stoops is the best coach we could have. He has brought the program from nowhere, zero, to the height of SEC mediocrity. An unbelievable achievement.
    Sadly he has reached the ceiling of his coaching philosophy. Sticking with Terry for fear of risking a loss in a losing season is playing not to lose is the anchor to status quo.

  9. Irish son
    6:42 pm November 9, 2020 Permalink

    I watched two MAC games this past week on television. all 4 teams had better QB’s than we do. How is that possible?

  10. blueblood80
    7:14 pm November 9, 2020 Permalink

    I get this feeling Beau Allen will never see a snap in the Blue and White before transfer….
    I hope this is not accurate.

    • oldfanallin
      7:23 pm November 9, 2020 Permalink

      Stoops “would like to see Beau in there as well”. He can get some film after Beau transfers.

  11. UKinIN
    7:20 pm November 9, 2020 Permalink

    I try not to buy into preseason hype because it’s just opinion. It doesn’t mean anything. When you look at the season you see UK struggling at QB, WR, field goals (I know Ruffolo has hit FGs lately but do any of us believe he’ll make a FG if the game is on the line?), and getting yards out of the return game. Stoops reputation is defense and it sure looks like that’s the side of the line that has all the talent. It’s possible the people that think he’s reached his ceiling are right and if Stoops can’t find a way to develop a dangerous offense, the program may have plateaued.

  12. jaws2
    7:28 pm November 9, 2020 Permalink

    It HAS plateaued. No may have’s. As long as Stoops continues his ‘be fair’ approach, just like the ‘everybody gets a trophy philosophy’, this is and will be the plateau. Without a Snell or Bowden this is what we’ll get. I will continue to believe that if the QB’s are not injured last year, Bowden has a ho-hum year as a receiver because we never could have gotten him the ball in space. He was fortunate that the QB’s went down and so were we.

  13. JohnnyCat
    1:44 am November 10, 2020 Permalink

    IMO if UK wants to win now and play the best guy, it must be Terry. He has proven himself time and again. A few bad games? Sure. But he can make the throws and make plays with his feet. However, if the Cats want to start playing for the future…you make the switch. I still think Beau is far better than Gatewood, and I don’t ever see Gatewood being a meaningful QB at this level. I could be wrong, but he must prove it on the field. So sure…make all the armchair coaches here happy and roll with Gatewood. We won’t win more than 2 games anyway, so you may as well get some game film on him so you can better make a QB decision on your starter for next year.

    • kjd
      7:27 am November 10, 2020 Permalink

      Terry does not make all the throws. Every once in a while he’ll make a throw. Cannot win with inconsistent QB play. Gatewood isn’t the guy either. Don’t know about Allen, he hasn’t seen game play yet. QB position is always holding us back.

    • Corder
      1:04 pm November 10, 2020 Permalink

      I love how y’all are already counting gatewood out after going up against one of the best Ds in the country. We have given terry plenty of time to prove us wrong about him and he has nothing to show for it. Gatewood needs to be given a chance just like we gave terry. That being said until we make a real change to our offensive coaching staff we will never get better no matter the players we have.

  14. jaws2
    2:35 pm November 10, 2020 Permalink

    Wilson would never have had his W/L record without Benny and Lynn. Never. The guy has happy feet, can’t make good decisions, never sees but one receiver, falls down immediately when hit, but throws a nice ‘bubble screen’ pass. Oh, but he’s a nice guy do there’s that.

  15. satcheluk
    5:29 pm November 10, 2020 Permalink

    This might be the most moronic and ignorant collection of football posts I have ever seen.

  16. Mbivinsuk007
    8:15 am November 11, 2020 Permalink

    B. Allen should start at Vandy. Perfect opportunity Gatewood got to start against UGA. Can Vandy way easier and could what he looks like throwing the ball. Could not ask for a better game to get a look at new QB. Anyone who believes Wilson is a starting QB is blind he can’t throw 5 accurate passes in a row to save his life its really sad that we have a really good team and just wasted season on this dude