We’ve heard stories of Terry Wilson’s drastic improvement throughout the past few months, but Friday night’s Spring Game was the first time Wilson’s more-confident skill set was fully on display. Kentucky’s starting quarterback completed 10-of-12 passes for 191 yards and two touchdowns, leading the Blue Squad to a 64-10 victory.
One of Wilson’s biggest drawbacks during his first season with the Wildcats was his sometimes-indecisive nature that lead to QB sacks, turnovers or three-and-outs. Plus, with a player like Benny Snell on the ground, he was naturally inclined to emphasize the run game. Although Wilson gave running backs A.J. Rose, Kavosiey Smoke and Chris Rodriguez plenty of touches, he was clearly just as comfortable in the air.
Isaiah Epps finished with four catches for 97 yards, Lynn Bowden had four passes for 66 yards and a score, TE Justin Rigg had three catches for 40 yards and newcomer Bryce Oliver had eight passes for 105 yards and a touchdown. One of Epps’ receptions was a 60-yard bomb, and Bowden grabbed a 42-yard pass for a TD on the Blue Team’s first possession.
The defensive efforts from the White Team were occasionally lacking, and the scrimmage can obviously not be compared to the defense Wilson and his offense can expect to see in real-game scenarios. Regardless, Wilson’s improvements were promising. What has he focused on during the off season?
“Just fundamentally continuing to work on a few things that we watched and really studied in the offseason,” Coach Stoops said. “He and Coach Hinshaw have worked hard to fundamentally be in better position to deliver the football.”
Stoops was also pleased with Wilson’s ability to create “explosive” plays during the spring game.
“I saw some good explosive offensive plays; I was pleased to see that,” Stoops said. “We’ve been working hard all offseason at trying to improve and converting opportunities and shot plays. You saw us convert some of those today. That’s good to see no matter who is out there and what you’re playing against.”
Wilson still has plenty of time to prepare for SEC defenses, and seeing his ability to air out some long passes (and to see the receivers catch them) was one incredibly-promising observation from the last outing of the spring season.