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Kentucky Wildcats Morning Quickies: Quarterback Questions Edition

At Texas A&M, Kentucky QB Terry Wilson was inefficient, late, and indecisive. What does it mean going forward?

NCAA Football: Kentucky at Texas A&M John Glaser-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen of the Big Blue Nation, and welcome to the Tuesday Morning Quickies.

Today’s topic for discussion will be Kentucky’s quarterback situation. Terry Wilson, who has been extremely good in the first five games absent some turnover difficulties, seemed to hit the wall at Texas A&M, where he was indecisive and looked as if his confidence was somehow shaken. His throws were late and errant, his decision-making uncharacteristically ponderous, and his play was a big reason why the Kentucky offense sputtered.

Mark Story in the Herald-Leader today talks about Wilson’s difficulties, and suggests that if Wilson continues his struggles against Vanderbilt, a QB change may be necessary:

However, if Kentucky’s downfield aerial attack continues to be grounded, the risk/reward ratio on giving the pocket-passing Hoak a shot could look different in the must-win games vs. Vandy and Mizzou than it did at A&M.

I can’t argue too much with that, and Story is by no means calling for a change now. He’s basically saying that without a passing game, running becomes much harder. I would still contend it is doable, especially with an athlete like Wilson forcing teams to keep an extra player near the box.

But the reality is, passing is generally essential to a productive running game. It’s my considered opinion that Wilson just had a bad day, and that’s going to happen to everyone. Yes, it was not a good place for that to happen (almost never is, is it?), and I think every rational fan should be concerned that Wilson’s confidence could take a dive. We’ve seen it happen before. But concern or no, he deserves a chance to play through this difficulty. He’s simply too talented and his skills too valuable for any other decision at this point. (Meaningless meandering side note: What a great triple option team this UK squad would be!)

I think the coaching staff made a number of errors in the A&M game, the most important of which was a notable lack of Benny Snell left and Benny Snell right. I agree with Story that Stoops & Co. should’ve forced A&M to prove that they could consistently stop Snell. I, for one, do not believe they could’ve, even with eight in the box on every play. But then again, hindsight is always as clear as day, and I could be wrong — A&M is very good against the run.

I consider this loss a valuable lesson, more to the coaching staff than to the team in general. There is an ancient rule that has proven true time and time again: “Dance with the person that brought you to the ball.”

It may sound trite, but it’s proven to be sage advice over many decades. Changing horses in the middle of the stream, as the too-early departed Dan Fogelberg sang, gets you wet and sometimes cold.

Losing is a very cold feeling.

Tweet of the Morning

Damn. Would’ve love that! I remember the old days when the Irish were a regular on our schedule.

Your Quickies:

Kentucky football
  • Yet another night game for UK.
Kentucky basketball
  • Memories.
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College football
  • Yikes!
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  • Congratulations indeed.

The government will continue their direct examination of [Brian] Bowen [Sr.] on Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. Then defense attorneys for all three defendants will get their chance.

And that’s when the motivation, and likely the focus of questioning, will flip. It behooves the defense’s case to draw out not just any additional possible NCAA violations, coaches or schools, but to do so with as much detail as possible.

The strategy is that the more the defense can show that the schools themselves do not follow or honor NCAA rules, the more challenging it is for the prosecution to get the jury to believe Gatto, Code and Dawkins actually hurt Louisville and others rather than just participate in a multi-pronged attempt to buy a top recruit. It could also show that myriad people made Tugs Bowen ineligible, not just the three inside the courtroom.

Read the whole thing.

The film devotes fewer than 30 seconds of its run time to an opposing viewpoint, from NCAA president Mark Emmert, who explains what the benefits of being a student-athlete can be under the right circumstances: coaching, training, the opportunity to be educated at a first-rate college or university.

Otherwise, it’s filled with lazy choices, like revisiting the idea that former NCAA executive director Walter Byers invented the term “student-athlete” to avoid paying players. It lumps Division II and Division III NCAA athletes in basketball and football together to make the odds of becoming a professional athlete seem even longer than they are. The stats they use come from the NCAA. Financial figures are designed to emphasize how much money is generated, but there’s only cursory explanation of how the money is spent.

Not surprising. James has no experience at all with his subject first-hand.

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