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Terry Wilson and Stephen Johnson Share One Important Intangible

Kentucky’s starting quarterback has quite a bit in common with the man that just led UK to consecutive seven-win seasons.

Just like Stephen Johnson, Terry Wilson is a mobile quarterback.  The junior college transfers had little time to adjust to life in the SEC, but it did not take long to see success.  Johnson won his first two games as UK’s starter, including one on the road in the SEC.  Wilson has done the same and been just as effective.

Kentucky’s QBs in First Two Career Starts

Stephen Johnson Terry Wilson
Opponents New Mexico State*, South Carolina Central Michigan, at Florida
Completions 28-of-41 (68.2%) 22-of-34 (64.7%)
Passing Yards 455 229
Passing TDs 3 3
Rushing Yards 60 (4.6 ypc) 143 (7.5 ypc)
Rushing TDs 0 1
Turnovers 1 5

* Johnson didn’t technically start, but relieved Drew Barker after the first series. 

The statistics reveal the obvious — Wilson has struggled with ball security in his first two games as a starter.  It’s something Johnson had to battle throughout his first season.  Johnson’s fumble near the goal line against Mississippi State nearly cost the Cats a win, but as he became more experienced, ball security became less of a problem.  Mark Stoops does not expect that problem to linger for Wilson.

“We will continue to work on that,” Stoops said at Monday’s press conference. “You never want him to play with any fear; you want him confident in making throws and things of that nature. Securing the football, fumbles is something that we cannot tolerate and won’t tolerate. We have to continue to harp on that and get better.”

Johnson’s early weaknesses were quickly forgotten after he showed poise in close games.  His best quality as the leader of Kentucky’s offense was his steady demeanor.  He never got too high or too low.  Stoops and Eddie Gran are already seeing that same quality in Terry Touchdown.

“There was absolutely no worry in his eyes at halftime. He knew he made a mistake and was frustrated by it but he’s got a very calm demeanor about him, much like Stephen. He had a lot of confidence in himself that he would go out and play well during the second half,” said Stoops.

Gran never saw Wilson’s confidence sway.

“I grabbed him after the fumble and looked at him in his eyes and patted him on the head and said let’s go. It’s a long game, take care of the ball. He said, ‘Yes sir, and let’s go.’”

Wilson faced the same defensive coordinator in The Swamp that Johnson faced at Louisville, Todd Grantham.  Gran compared Terry’s performance at Florida to what Stephen did at Louisville.

“I think the decision making was fast. If something broke down, or something wasn’t right he ran with the ball,” Gran said.  “It reminded me of the same things. He made quick decisions, and when it wasn’t there, he made (a play).”

In his first start, Wilson will be the first to admit he was a little nervous.  After getting thrown into the fire, nothing could faze him at Florida.

“I didn’t let the mistakes get to me.  I gotta limit my mistakes and stuff like that, but I just feel like I’m more comfortable,” Wilson said.

“I just did what the coaches asked of me and didn’t really try to do too much, just play my game.  It’s crazy because I didn’t feel like big things were happening.  I was just out there playing ball.  It was crazy when I watched the film and seen the plays I was doing.”

It’s unfair to compare Wilson to his successful predecessor after just two games.  Stephen Johnson helped take Kentucky’s program to new heights and is one of the Big Blue Nation’s most beloved players.  However, it’s hard not to dream big dreams with Terry Wilson under center.

Wilson is a natural playmaker that makes the most athletic feats look simple.  Before the season we knew he had all of the physical traits to surpass his predecessor.  In two games Wilson has already showed the coaches he has the same intangibles that made Stephen successful.  When Terry Touchdown consistently puts it all together, the sky is the limit.


Article written by Nick Roush

"Look upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole." @RoushKSR

15 Comments for Terry Wilson and Stephen Johnson Share One Important Intangible

  1. maximumscott
    4:12 pm September 12, 2018 Permalink

    Their Black?

  2. maximumscott
    4:14 pm September 12, 2018 Permalink

    They’re Black*

  3. ClutchCargo
    4:20 pm September 12, 2018 Permalink

    Or maybe they don’t get rattled. Sometimes we have to do more than look at the pictures to understand the story.

  4. Bluebloodtoo
    4:23 pm September 12, 2018 Permalink

    It would be awesome if your paid app allowed me to view the table in this article. Also, maybe being able to select and view pictures might also be nice, you know, since it’s not a free app.

  5. cats646
    4:55 pm September 12, 2018 Permalink

    Terry Wilson reminds me of Lamar honestly. Fumbles and everything.

  6. Bill Selfs Hair Piece
    5:19 pm September 12, 2018 Permalink

    Wasn’t SCAR a home game that year?

  7. bailey000
    11:50 pm September 12, 2018 Permalink

    Not a whole lot of similarities between these two honestly as far as their games. Stephen struggled with the long ball and that seems to be terry’s best ball. Stephen could get out of bad situations with his feet sometimes but was not an elite athlete. Terry is an elite athlete. Also, we really haven’t seen him have any where near the toughness of Stephen. That’s the thing that Terry has to show me his toughness. He went down in game 1 with a nothing injury. Was it because he was struggling with turnovers? I don’t know, but he gonna have to prove his toughness.

    • mashburnfan1
      12:30 am September 13, 2018 Permalink

      Amazing someone can say things about people with no clue as to what actually happened. Nothing injury? Really and what doctor are you? He took a pretty good hit and landed with weight on the arm/shoulder. And he did come back from it and played well in the 2nd half. Is it possible since Hoak got the late 1st half TD the COACHES decided to start Hoak the 2nd half, Wilson may have had no choice. When Hoak struggled they put him back in, that makes me think he could have, and would have, started the 2nd half but was not allowed as he did have a bad 1st half. And he HAS to prove {or show} nothing to you, hope you know you do not matter one bit to him. Go look up U6 and root for them, jerk. He and the team just did something all the others could not do for many many years, that proves and shows something. This guy almost quit football, thoyught he would never get a chance at big time college ball, heard a great interview the other day and he seems like a great young man.

    • JohnnyCheeseSticks
      9:35 am September 13, 2018 Permalink

      You really didn’t say anything rebutting Bailey. Your post is just shouting and feelings.

    • Iamheasyouarehe
      9:30 am September 13, 2018 Permalink

      Well said, Mashfan!

  8. Sentient Third Eye
    8:55 am September 13, 2018 Permalink

    Though both have battled turnovers, the reasons are different. Wilson is making the occasional poor decision with the ball, while SJ’s problem was really mostly due to his slight frame making him easier to rattle than a heavier dude. Both are/were correctable. SJ put on more muscle, and now Terry Touchdown just has more game experience to adapt to the SEC, and his problem should take care of itself. Already we can see the problem shrinking.

  9. kjd
    12:37 pm September 13, 2018 Permalink

    No comparison when discussing mobility between the two.