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Mark Stoops on what he expects in Joey Gatewood’s first start

Gatewood will make his first collegiate start in arguably Kentucky’s biggest home game of the season.

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Joey Gatewood

It was a news filled Thursday for the Kentucky Football program.

Mark Stoops finally revealed that Terry Wilson’s injury is related to his wrist and the Cats would in fact be making a change at quarterback for Saturday’s game against Georgia.

It was mentioned that Wilson has issues dropping the football with that sore wrist, thus keeping him out of practice, and ultimately the game.

Joey Gatewood, the former Auburn Tiger, will get his first start under center at Kroger Field against a top 10 opponent.

“He has the keys. He’s the starting quarterback.” Stoops told reporters on Thursday.

Anytime you make a mid-season change at the most important position on the field it’s sure to create some uncertainty around the program.

When you couple in the fact that Gatewood will be getting his feet wet against one of the top programs in the nation — it should definitely make for an interesting game — on Halloween nonetheless.

But the coaching staff, including Mark Stoops, have faith that Joey Gatewood, a former top-50 high school prospect, is up to the challenge.

“He’s definitely a big-strong guy. He’s got a big arm. He can make all the throws. He stands strong in the pocket.” Stoops said on Thursday.

If Gatewood is able to settle-in and relax I would anticipate that you’ll see similarities between him and Terry Wilson. They have a similar style of play and, as you can imagine, Kentucky doesn’t really have the Luci at, or personnel, to change things up much on offense.

The Big Blue Nation will undoubtedly be looking to introduce some vertical throws down the field and ideally looking as if they have much more continuity.

Stoops didn’t rule out the idea of Beau Allen getting some reps.

If it’s a rough start for Gatewood then it’s very possible that the hometown kid gets his shot at the Dawgs on Saturday.

“I anticipate Joey going out there and playing well. I wanted to see Beau all year, but as you can imagine, it’s very difficult. Every possession, every rep, every time we have the ball it’s pretty important.” Stoops said.

No matter what happens — Saturday will be an intriguing game that could make or break Kentucky’s morale for the remainder of the season.

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