Personally, I am most excited to see the development of Terry Wilson from last year to this year over any other aspect of this UK football team. Wilson showed flashes certainly last year and also wasn’t asked to try and win games either. He was the epitome of the game manager. Great defense and run game behind him meant he just didn’t need to screw up. That doesn’t appear to be the case this year. First and foremost, UK will need to score more points this year because the defense will likely take a step back. And while there are good running backs on the roster, they are not Benny Snell. Everything points to more production needed from Wilson.
The second aspect to this is Sawyer Smith. He was brought in from Troy after a very successful season there. The motivation behind bringing him in by the UK staff could be several different answers. Maybe they just wanted a better backup to light more of a fire in Terry Wilson. Maybe they legitimately have concerns if he is the guy. Or maybe Smith just wanted to be at an SEC program. But no matter the reason, Smith’s arrival brings some intrigue to the position this year.
It is obviously Terry Wilson’s job going into Toledo. And if Wilson improves and UK is winning, then it’s his for all 12 games. But just throwing out this hypothetical, what if Terry Wilson’s stats against Toledo were this:
Toldeo: 14-21, 145 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
Those stats are fine. Not great, not bad. Completed 2 out of every 3 passes. Over 10 yards per completion. Only 1 turnover. Well, those stats are Terry Wilson’s per game average from last season. Assuming UK gets the win over Toledo but Wilson’s stats are average, what should happen?
My opinion is the quarterback’s leash, in general, is way too short these days. Unless Wilson is turning the ball over at a huge rate or his completion percentage gets below 50%, I think Wilson should be on the field 100% of the time for the entire season. Of course, if the team is losing and a change of pace might help, that changes things. But if UK is headed towards a 7 or 8 win season, competitive in each game, but Wilson’s improvement is minimal, I still think he keeps the job. If UK is winning but Stoops throws out the possibility of Smith coming in, I don’t see how that helps. I think if UK rolls against Toledo and Eastern Michigan and wins or is competitive against Florida, I would like to see Stoops commit to Wilson for the remainder of the season, barring a serious downslide.
What about you? How much of a leash does Terry Wilson have and what would have to happen in your mind to consider pulling him?