Terry Wilson will carry a heavier load for Kentucky’s offense this fall. Now, co-offensive coordinator Darin Hinshaw will tell you something you don’t know.
“Last year we were more about running the ball. We had a first year quarterback with Terry Wilson and he only threw about 20 times a game. We are going to have to increase that this year to 35 to 40 times a game,” Hinshaw said Monday afternoon.
Hinshaw’s remarks at the Louisville Quarterback Club luncheon were enlightening. Obviously, Wilson was expected to do more without Benny Snell in the backfield, but I never anticipated hearing exactly how much more from any of the tight-lipped coaches in the preseason. The shear volume is also intriguing. A Mark Stoops UK offense has never averaged more than 33 attempts per game.
The specificity of the revelation tells me a few things. When Hinshaw and Eddie Gran came to Kentucky, we knew they preferred a high-power offense that emphasized the passing game. They did it at Cincinnati and we saw as much for one half with Drew Barker, until he suffered what was ultimately a career-ending back injury against Southern Miss. Playing the hand they were dealt, the winning offensive formula evolved.
Without Benny Snell in the mix in 2019, they could lean on A.J. Rose and Co. to carry the load, but that will not be the case. Gran and Hinshaw have confidence in Wilson and they also believe the wide receivers can be capable playmakers. A group oozing with potential, yet not much production aside from Lynn Bowden, the offense can rediscover its explosiveness if Josh Ali, Isaiah Epps and Co. take their game to another level.
Lastly, Hinshaw’s statement reveals that Stoops is willing to let loose his reins on the offense. It’s something the quarterbacks coach admitted was not always the case a year ago (and the offensive coaches completely understood).
“We have a great coach in Mark Stoops who understands the game and managing the game. A lot of times on the headset (last year) you would hear (from Stoops), ‘Don’t screw this up.’ We have the defensive player of the year and we knew what we had to do and that was the recipe for winning ten games and we are going to find the recipe this year,” Hinshaw said.
“We should have won 12 last year and ten the year before. We are very close to making Kentucky great.”