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Ahmad Wagner needs the ball more

What if I told you that you could have a receiver on your team who would net positive yardage almost 100 percent of the time? Let me introduce you to Ahmad Wagner.

Everyone knows the legend of the guy who draws pass interference at an unbelievable rate. But Wagner is much more than that. He’s truly an unguardable target.

After last night, Wagner has been targeted 17 times in his career. He has nine catches and has drawn seven pass interference penalties. That means that 94 percent of the balls thrown his way have been successful. It’s honestly incredible.

What’s even better is he’s not just catching quick screens or short passes. He’s making these plays on mostly deep balls. He finds a way to do something positive on every ball thrown to him.

These two instances are just a couple examples of the ability Wagner clearly possesses. While he didn’t draw a pass interference penalty last night, I think his touchdown catch was almost assuredly interference ,whether it was called or not.

So here’s what I want to know: why has Wagner only been targeted 17 times? Last night, there wasn’t a Florida defender who could guard him, as evidenced by the above videos. Yet, the Cats only threw the ball his way three times. He caught all three passes for 70 yards and a touchdown. On the year, he has nice catches for 198 yards and two touchdowns.

I understand his catch-to-pass interference rate will drop if he’s thrown the ball more, but Kentucky has to give him more chances. He’s a playmaker at a position of weakness on a sometimes-stagnant offense. Sawyer Smith loves throwing the ball up and letting his receivers make a play. Wagner could become his favorite target if given the chance.

There’s no excuse to only target Wagner three times in the passing game. Smith looks like a solid passer so far and in order to maximize his ability, it would probably help to get the ball to his most unguardable target.


@nickwheatley23

Article written by Nick Wheatley

22 Comments for Ahmad Wagner needs the ball more



  1. BluKudzu
    6:14 pm September 15, 2019 Permalink

    We have Wagner and Bowden. How in the world do we not use them 50% of the plays on offense, is beyond me.

    Bowden behind the line of scrimage is a waste in the wildcat. That is a gift to every defense in the SEC. He is more dangerous in space….by far.

    Wagner is a defense destroyer. Yet we will not ride his talent.

    Welcome to conservative football when you have a lead. It will get us beat every single time.



    • bigblue98
      6:22 pm September 15, 2019 Permalink

      I like Gran and think Rose should get more carries. Why get touchdowns when we can get three yards a carry? We don’t care about scoring. We just want to be a ball control offense.



    • samodamo
      11:21 am September 16, 2019 Permalink

      Rose should be playing behind smoke. Look at the yards per carry. Smokes the man



    • samodamo
      11:20 am September 16, 2019 Permalink

      I like Bowden but the hype is more than the results with him. Don’t get me wrong I’m still holding hope tht he turns it to something great but imo he’s not the answer.



  2. bbn606
    6:23 pm September 15, 2019 Permalink

    It’s crazy that half of our plays are not passes to him. Ride that gravy train till the wheels fall off.



  3. Trueblue44
    6:24 pm September 15, 2019 Permalink

    Same writer who just questioned Bowden, your posts aren’t needed anymore, thanks for playing



  4. ibescootch
    7:21 pm September 15, 2019 Permalink

    Generally, there’s 4 scenarios that can happen on every play- 1. The play-call is the correct one, and the offense executes it perfectly. 2. The play-call is correct, but the offense does not execute it, resulting in a failed play. 3. The play-call is incorrect, but the offense somehow manages to execute a successful possession anyway. 4. The play-call is incorrect, and the offense also fails to execute a successful play regardless.

    I think the majority of the time if a play fails, fans think that scenario 4 has happened. Realistically though, after 10 wins last season, I think Stoops and Gran have earned the right for us to assume that scenario 2 happens more often than not.



    • UKinIN
      9:46 pm September 15, 2019 Permalink

      Warning: “Fan Opinion Based on Logic” approaching …



    • BluKudzu
      8:22 am September 16, 2019 Permalink

      So by your logic in scenario number 2…the COACHES have failed to teach the players the proper way to execute the play for success, or the COACHES recruited head cases that refuse to do what they are taught, or the COACHES recuited the wrong players for their system or the COACHES had the wrong players in the game for the play?

      At $millions of dollars per year, there are no excuses. Failure on the field is due to the Coaches that put them there, and called the plays which they can not execute properly.

      SAME PILE, DIFFERENT DECADE.



    • ibescootch
      5:22 pm September 16, 2019 Permalink

      Ok, while I obviously don’t agree that’s the case, if you want to play that game- we can. You just have to also admit that everything good that happens is on the coaches as well. The same coaches that brought us 10 wins last season and started 2-0 this year. And you can’t say, “well, we had Benny and Josh last year”, because it’s the same coaches that brought them in and trained them. That being said, if you’re not happy with a 10 win season, 2 wins to start the year and a loss to a Top Ten team, then you’re just an unhappy person. Yes, that loss sucked, but you can’t just make a sweeping statement that it’s all on the coaching. We had several injuries, ejections, and a missed field goal, and still had a chance to win it in the last minute or so. So yes, I’m sure you’ll continue to complain about the same things for the next decade because that’s just who you are, it has nothing to do with UK Football.



  5. EastKYCAT
    8:51 pm September 15, 2019 Permalink

    I have been saying this since second half. Throw the ball to Wagner. Give Wagner the chance to cause issues with other teams defense.



    • zoupman
      10:15 am September 16, 2019 Permalink

      Love our coaches, but don’t expect this to improve. For two years, they cane out every Monday after a game and said they would be getting ball to CJ more. Never happened.



  6. jakew60
    9:20 pm September 15, 2019 Permalink

    Good post Nick, don’t let some of these people on here put you down, keep writing and write about what you think needs to be written but go a little easier on Bowden lol



  7. UKinIN
    9:47 pm September 15, 2019 Permalink

    I thought a flag was thrown on the TD catch? Thought the announcers talked about it.



    • WildcatCam
      10:42 pm September 15, 2019 Permalink

      There was a pi on his td. You are correct.



  8. sammielebo
    11:24 pm September 15, 2019 Permalink

    Gran cost us another game. Scared to death to try to win. Only interested in not losing.



    • bluecrowe
      2:56 am September 16, 2019 Permalink

      Surely this prevent offense in the second half with any kind of lead has become an issue with the well heeled boosters and Barnhart. Stoops and his people serve at their pleasure, so hopefully there will be a change. How do you not just tell Wagner to run straight and simply hoist the ball up in his direction? with his reach and length he is simply unstoppable. This game was absolutely maddening! We totally outplayed Florida. It is also going to be the only significant game we play in which we could have won and have people take notice. The rest of our schedule is full of average teams and then Georgia. UGA will beat us by 45 points. So this was essentially that one special game. I am sure we will be in exciting games, but squeaking by Vandy and Tennessee is not something to relish this season.



  9. Big Sexy
    11:50 pm September 15, 2019 Permalink

    Now that Kentucky has a QB that can throw the ball, Wagner should become a beast.



    • BluKudzu
      8:23 am September 16, 2019 Permalink

      Not in this offense.



  10. bbn606
    9:17 am September 16, 2019 Permalink

    Wagner should be a target at least one ever three plays and by the way, could we please abandon the mildcat wildcat?



  11. ukwildcatfan
    11:05 am September 16, 2019 Permalink

    94% success rate is incorrect. On some targets, he has both caught the ball and drawn a PI call (see his spectacular catch against Florida). Therefore he’s had at least 2 (if not more) unsuccessful targets.



  12. Miller45
    2:59 pm September 16, 2019 Permalink

    Any time anybody tries to play press man on Wagner a 50 50 ball to everyone else is an 80 20 ball to Wagner