The Kentucky Wildcats aren't the only team dealing with questions at quarterback ahead of their regular-season finale.
The Louisville Cardinals have also been going with more than one quarterback for much of this season. True freshman Lamar finished last week's loss to the Pitt Panthers after redshirt sophomore Kyle Bolin started but struggled early on. It now looks like the 'Cats should expect to see both of them this week in the Governor's Cup.
UL's latest depth chart has Bolin or Jackson as the team’s starting QB, and head coach Bobby Petrino isn't sure who will go with this week.
"Not sure who will start at quarterback, " Petrino said Monday. "In the game the other day, they made good plays at times and they made bad plays at times. We’ve got to get out on the practice field and figure it out on the practice field."
Jackson opened the year vs. Auburn in the Cards' 31-24 loss to the Tigers. He played well enough to get the start the next week vs. Houston, but it was Bolin who finished the 34-31 loss to the Cougars. Since then, it's been mostly Jackson at QB, but UL had been going with Bolin in recent weeks after he played well during the team's Week 10 win over Syracuse.
As for which QB is better and/or matches up better with Kentucky, it's really hard to tell. Jackson is by far the more mobile and athletic passer while possessing a slightly bigger arm.
Given how much Kentucky has struggled against mobile quarterbacks, Jackson seems like the more ideal guy for Louisville to go with. Combined with the fact he finished last week's game after Bolin had struggled and helped put UL in a 42-17 hole.
But then we just need to look back to last year's matchup with Kentucky to see what Bolin is capable of. Bolin played last year in relief of an injured Reggie Bonnafon and proceeded to complete 21 of 31 passes (67.7%) for 381 yards and three scores vs. one interception.However, Bolin did have several passes that should have been picked off but were dropped by Kentucky defenders, and he may be someone the' Cats will better defend now that they actually have game film on him.
This season, Bolin has completed 76 of 132 passes (57.6% for 1,109 yards and seven scores vs. four picks. Jackson has completed 115 of 200 passes (57.5%) for 1,483 yards and nine touchdowns vs. seven picks. He's also rushed 124 times for 548 yards (4.4 yards per carry) and seven more scores.
It must also be noted that both QBs have played significant snaps (more than one passing or one rushing attempt) in the same game just three times this season, so it is possible we only see one of them this week. But since this is such a big game for both schools and Petrino is an expert at finding mismatches, we should expect to see both QBs playing this week since they both can expose UK's defense in different ways.
Expect Jackson to start the game and get many of the reps early on, but if he struggles and/or UK builds a lead, look for Bolin to come in and try and rally the Cards again. In the end, Jackson will likely finish the game having the most snaps of the two. He's shown more promise and given the Cards' enigmatic offense more explosion plays throughout the year.