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Notes from Monday’s press conference with Mark Stoops

The breakdown of Monday’s press conference with Mark Stoops ahead of Saturday’s season opener against Central Michigan.

Mark Stoops Jason Marcum - Sea of Blue

It feels like yesterday that the Kentucky Wildcats, led by senior quarterback Stephen Johnson, were down in Nashville for the Music City Bowl.

On Monday, though, the Cats began the week where they’d have to start playing football games without the seasoned veteran.

With Johnson’s tenure with the Cats ending, head coach Mark Stoops inherited transfer and former Oregon Duck quarterback Terry Wilson. Wilson transferred from Oregon to junior college for a season before transferring to Kentucky.

During Monday’s press conference with Stoops, the head coach announced that Wilson would be starting under center for Week 1, indicating he had beaten out Gunnar Hoak in fall camp.

Stoops said he made the decision over the weekend after having face-to-face meetings with both Hoak and Wilson on Friday. Stoops added that Hoak could still have opportunities this season and that all of his players should always be ready.

This announcement unfortunately came after the nauseating news that confirmed starting left tackle Landon Young indeed blew out his left knee and is out for the season.

Stoops said he remains confident in the rest of his line and, with a shift coming following Young’s injury, the Cats’ will have to move on.

This injury comes at the worst time, as the Cats are just five days away from their home and season opener with Central Michigan. In Monday’s presser, Stoops talked about prepping his team to start the season with a win.

Other notes from the press conference confirmed that sophomore edge rusher Josh Paschal is out indefinitely and will be replaced by T.J. Carter. Jamar “Boogie” Watson will move to the strong side linebacker position with Josh Allen reverting to defensive end/outside linebacker.

Stoops did say that true freshman Chris Oates, who is behind Jordan Jones at weak side linebacker, will play this season.

Despite Grant McKinniss landing behind sophomore Max Duffy on the punting depth chart, it looks like he could send the opening kickoff on Saturday.

Senior David Bouvier, who recently received a scholarship after walking on, got the nod as the lead punt returner for the Cats.

Several veterans such as Darius West, Lonnie Johnson and Mike Edwards said Bouvier had one of the more impressive fall camps. Bouvier will also get the nod as the “Y” WR.

Losing Austin MacGinnis was arguably Kentucky’s most significant hole to fill this summer. With Miles Butler winning the depth chart battle, Stoops said in his presser that true freshman Chance Poore will probably travel with the team because of his strong leg for situational football.

It’s just five days away, so make sure to check back at for more Kentucky football updates.