The Kentucky Wildcats started out the season 1-0, but it definitely wasn’t because of outstanding quarterback play.
Terry Wilson started and ended the game for the Cats, and Gunnar Hoak received his fair share of playing time. Neither player played up to their potential in most peoples’ eyes, as Wilson finished the game only completing 11 of his 18 passes for 78 yards, but he had 9 carries for 38 yards.
Wilson also threw two interceptions and had one lost fumble. Hoak, on the other hand, started out hot while leading the Cats to their 21-20 lead after Wilson was hit and got injured. Hoak was able to complete a 24-yard touchdown pass to David Bouvier.
Each player had his share of mistakes, but I think both players have huge upside. Here is how I would break down the performance for each player:
Terry Wilson got off to a slow start as the Cats were forced to punt after a 3 and out on their opening drive. Wilson looked really good when he ran the ball, as he ran for 38 yards on 9 carries. When Wilson runs the run-pass-option (RPO), he shows why he was such a big recruit out of JUCO. He makes big time reads, when no one else could. Wilson looked like a true dual threat QB when he ran the ball.
Downside to Wilson: he made a couple really bad mistakes. Wilson turned the ball over three times, two of those being interceptions and one lost fumble. Wilson just seemed to never get comfortable in the pocket, he was always throwing on the run or he was throwing off of his back foot.
Now, as I say that, it wasn’t always Wilson’s fault. The offensive line did not play well in the first half and got Wilson hit a lot, one of those causing Wilson to be injured before Hoak came in to lead the offense to a touchdown and 21-20 lead over the Chippewas.
Wilson was able to come back in during the second half and make a couple plays with his legs and eventually lead the cats to two more touchdown drives, helping the Cats win the game 35-20.
Gunnar started out very well, as he was 3-5 on his first drive with a touchdown pass that gave Kentucky a 21-20 lead going into halftime. Hoak started the second half for the Cats and wasn’t able to produce much more offense after the first series of the game for him with a little over a minute remaining in the first half.
After Hoak started the second half for Kentucky, he led UK to consecutive 3 and outs that led to punts. Hoak only completed one more pass after his first drive, and he finished the game only completing 4 of 9 passes for 50 yards and one touchdown.
Hoak is a very good player, but what you see with Hoak is what you get. He’s not super fast or super flashy, but he is a good pro-style quarterback. He’s good at sitting in the pocket and making smart decisions.
This is beautiful. Gunnar Hoak just steps into the pocket, gets hit and throws a bullet TD to Bouvier pic.twitter.com/gKczw6ZwDG— Jordan Abrams (@jordodavid) September 3, 2018
My final comments on Hoak and Wilson:
Hoak didn’t take any sacks and he never made any huge mistakes causing turnovers, which is a big deal in my opinion. But, like I said, you get what you get with Hoak. He doesn’t have near the potential Wilson has.
Wilson may have made a few mistakes, but he also showed glimpses of what could be. When he stayed in the pocket and made strong throws, you saw it. He barely missed Dorian Baker on a post that would’ve been huge when he made a confident throw and he made great decisions in the RPO game.
Who should start vs. Florida?
I think you have to go with Wilson. He has a lot of potential with the way he can get himself out of danger in the pocket using his legs and he showed on Saturday how big of an arm he has when he steps into his throws and has confidence in his arm.
I think either QB Stoops goes with from here on will be able to win games, but if you look at potential, you have to stick to your guns and let Wilson give it another go.
This is what a confident throw from Wilson looks like. Wilson ——> Baker on a bullet pic.twitter.com/Is5U8gYxRU— Jordan Abrams (@jordodavid) September 3, 2018
Who do you think should start vs. Florida this week? Let us know in the comments!