Kentucky coach Mark Stoops would not deny that quarterback Terry Wilson didn’t have “one of his stronger performances” against Mississippi State last week when he was 8-for-20 passing for 73 yards and a touchdown. But Stoops also said on the SEC coaches teleconference Wednesday that blaming all of UK’s offensive woes on Wilson last week is not fair.
On today’s SEC Teleconference, Stoops acknowledged Terry’s tough day vs. the Bulldogs, but cited other factors that contributed to it, such as dropped passes by wide receivers and poor protection from the offensive line.
“Hopefully he’ll bounce back and have a complete game this week. But overall, he’s more experienced, he understands the offense,” Stoops said.
“We have to help him in certain situations, stepping up at wide receiver, giving him some protection. So, there was a combination of things this past week that didn’t look very pretty but overall, he is a more complete quarterback.”
Some fans are clamoring for Auburn transfer Joey Gatewood to play a lot more against Tennessee Saturday in Knoxville. He made his UK debut last week. He ran twice for five yards and did not complete his only pass.
“Definitely impressed with Joey and you definitely can see the talent. I think he picks things up very well. He goes through his progressions,” Stoops said. “He can put the ball anywhere on the field and he’s big and physical, so we’ll see where it goes.
“Terry is our starting quarterback and we really need Terry to have a big game here this week but Joey’s ready to go, along with (true freshman) Beau Allen. I’ve been super impressed with Beau Allen as well. Again, I think both of those quarterbacks are progressing well behind Terry.”
Well enough to play at Tennessee? Not quite sure about that.
Former Kentucky all-SEC running back Anthony White does not like quarterback controversies because he knows what it can do to the starting quarterback’s confidence. He remembers when he played with quarterback Tim Couch at UK that even if Couch threw a bad ball, coaches would blame receivers.
“It used to bother me then (former UK offensive coordinator) Tony Franklin explained to me that (coach) Hal Mumme didn’t want to do anything to hurt Tim’s confidence. Then it made sense,” White said on WPBK-FM Thursday morning.
“The quarterback cannot be second guessing himself about what might happen if he takes a risk. I have watched film several times of the last couple of UK games and I am not sure Terry is being given all the resources he needs to be successful.
“There have been a few times receivers are open and Terry is not seeing them. They are watching the same videos I am and you can only watch so many times when a coach says you are not making the right reads or else the coach is not doing a good enough job preparing him to make the reads.
“The majority of the time, probably 60 to 70 percent, Terry’s third option, the backside receiver, is open. But he flushes the pocket and pulls the ball down as the guy is coming open. It looks like he is not waiting to get to that third option. What I don’t know is if he’s missing the read or just not being coached to make that read.”