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BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Terry Wilson Isn’t Throwing 40 Times Nor Should He

When the initial comment that Kentucky might throw the ball “40 or more times” this season was uttered, you just knew that would get UK fans in a tizzy, reminiscing about the days of the Air Raid attack and Tim Couch and Jared Lorenzen slinging the ball all around the field and setting records.  Mark Stoops has walked that comment back a little since, although Terry Wilson threw the number 50 around in a KSR interview so fans are still interested to see if the ball will be in the air a bunch in 2019 or not.  But I am here to tell you that not only should we not expect to see a game of 40+ passes from Terry Wilson this year, I don’t think we should WANT to see a game of 40+ passes this year.

Because let us not forget that those days of Tim Couch and Jared Lorenzen, no matter how much fun they were, also didn’t lead to a ton of winning.  In the 6 seasons those guys played quarterback, UK went 27-42.

Taking it back to the Mark Stoops era, games in which UK aired it out haven’t exactly been the most winning strategy for the Cats:

More Than 35 Passes (3-10 record)
52 passes: 2015, Mississippi State (Towles 42, Barker 9)
45 passes: 2014, Florida (Towles 45)
44 passes: 2015, Auburn (Towles 44)
44 passes: 2014, Mississippi State (Towles 43, G.Johnson 1)
42 passes: 2015, Eastern Kentucky (Towles 42)
39 passes: 2018, Missouri (Wilson 31, Hoak 8)
39 passes: 2017, Northwestern (Johnson 36, Barker 3)
38 passes: 2018, Tennessee (Wilson 34, Hoak 4)
38 passes: 2013, Tennessee (Smith 38)
37 passes: 2017, Missouri (Johnson 36, Snell 1)
37 passes: 2014, Missouri (Towles 37)
37 passes: 2013, Louisville (Smith 20, Whitlow 17)
36 passes: 2014, LSU (Towles 36)

Kentucky has only thrown the ball over 40 times in 6 games in the Stoops era, all in 2014 and 2015, with Neal Brown and Shannon Dawson as the offensive coordinator.  And UK went 1-4 in those games and the only win was against Eastern Kentucky.  But check this out:

Less Than 17 Passes (7-1 record)
9 passes: 2018, Vanderbilt
14 passes: 2018, Mississippi State
14 passes: 2018, Middle Tennessee
14 passes: 2016, Florida
14 passes: 2016, Austin Peay
15 passes: 2018, Penn State
16 passes: 2018, Florida
16 passes: 2017, Tennessee

Now, some might say in games UK was winning they didn’t have to throw the ball as much, thus these numbers.  But the bigger point is that why do we clamor for the stronger passing game?  We don’t have a quarterback who is known as a great passer.  We don’t have an experience wide receiver crew.  We don’t have a coach who traditionally likes a pass-heavy attack.  And we haven’t won many games when we have passed it a bunch.

These is no positive traditionally in throwing the ball 40+ times a game, whether with Mark Stoops or not.  The idea the game is more exciting with more passes is a myth.  The game is more exciting when you win.  And the winning strategy with Mark Stoops is 15-30 passes a game maximum.


Article written by Bryan the Intern

12 Comments for BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Terry Wilson Isn’t Throwing 40 Times Nor Should He

  1. EastKYCAT
    10:13 am August 5, 2019 Permalink

    I agree, the SEC is a running league. Now with that being said, I do believe Terry should get 25 attempts. I would like to see the offense go 55% run, 45% pass. Have a good mix of the ball will keep defenses to honor both run and pass. The defense is going to be fine this year. The front 7 is going to be the best it has ever looked since the beginning of the SEC Championship. GO CATS!!

    • JASUN74
      8:40 pm August 5, 2019 Permalink

      Great post, I agree with you 100%. The only thing I could add is that obviously no one believes were going to throw 40 times a game!!! most is just preseason talk. Can’t wait to see what they do though. Haha. Go Cats!!

  2. StuckinLville
    10:40 am August 5, 2019 Permalink

    30-35 is a good number. And you really cant compare the Couch or Lorenzen era to now because the talent level is leaps and bounds ahead of what it ever was then.

  3. BlueByYou
    10:41 am August 5, 2019 Permalink

    You can have a goal, but you play each game differently and adjust accordingly. The reason we threw a bunch and lost in the past was either because the defense sucked or we were behind 49-3 and had no choice. People get too hung up on statistics.

  4. Thetruthshallsetbennyfree
    11:08 am August 5, 2019 Permalink

    The QBs sucked so duh we lost under Brown and Dawson.

  5. Duuuuuude
    11:24 am August 5, 2019 Permalink

    Yes…. when you have the dudes up front we have, put it on them to open up holes for our stable of studs. Control the line….. eat the clock…. keep the ball out of Georgia or who ever’s hands. That is how we will win games.

  6. CombatMedic_98
    12:09 pm August 5, 2019 Permalink

    Say what you wanna say about stats, they speak for themselves. If the Run is established great. However, like what we saw last year, if the Run is “SHUTDOWN” and matched up, you HAVE to throw period to keep teams on their heels. To win an SEC championship, we need to be able to run and pass consistently and adjust to the strength of the team and their weaknesses.

    • CombatMedic_98
      7:28 pm August 5, 2019 Permalink

      Let’s just hope Terry throws more than “40” yards a game this year…we should be fine…!

    • JASUN74
      8:50 pm August 5, 2019 Permalink

      Lol. I have to agree that we may need to make a few halftime changes here and there. Im sure the [email protected] game and SC game could’ve been better overall, but we did win one of those.

      Now the Tennessee game, I hate people saying Georgia beat us twice!! Hell no they didn’t. Tennessee beat us and while it broke my little heart, lol, it was up to our team to not let them. Had nothing to do with Georgia and everything to do with a bunch of pouting for a week. Still could’ve changed at halftime and been a different ballgame. I think that game will be one where we will learn more than any game we have ever played.
      Go Cats

    • JASUN74
      8:55 pm August 5, 2019 Permalink

      Also, man if Terry throws for 36 yards and we win, well that’s a hell of a day!! Not one player on our team has to be perfect for us to compete, but all of them have to give effort and play for each other. We have some great young players and Terry Wilson is one of them and he’s given a lot to be here at Kentucky. We should a the very least appreciate that.

  7. WV Wildcat
    12:36 pm August 5, 2019 Permalink

    I don’t really disagree with your underlying point, but the stats you cite are pretty useless, for the reason that you acknowledge. When will a team be throwing the most? When they are behind and need to make yards without running the clock down. Or against physically superior teams against which we have more trouble establishing the run, i.e., the better teams in the league, who we should expect to have less success against. They are of course much more likely to lose in either such scenario than in the average game.