Potential quarterback battle rising for 6-1 Cats


Kentucky Wildcats quarterback Terry Wilson (3) breaks off from a defender and runs with the ball. University of Kentucky football defeated Vanderbilt University 14-7 to become 6-1 on the season on Saturday, October 20, 2018 at Kroger Field in Lexington, Kentucky. Photo by Michael Clubb | Staff

The No. 12 Cats might be considering a change in quarterback, but the quarterbacks themselves may not have been told that yet.

Tuesday evening, UK quarterback Terry Wilson said he was ready to go against Missouri, hoping to bring some of the “fire” he had in their road win at Florida, where Wilson both rushed and passed for more than 100 yards. Asked if he had been informed of a quarterback competition, Wilson said that the coaching staff hasn’t told him that there was one happening.

However, quarterback coach Darin Hinshaw alluded to the opposite. Hinshaw said that a quarterback competition may be just what the 6-1 Cats need, and that “sometimes you need a competition.”

Offensive coordinator Eddie Gran wouldn’t reveal much about the race, only saying that Wilson was the starting quarterback and that the team would be ready to make changes “if we needed to.”

Gran said that the team was prepared to use several quarterbacks last week, but the game flow, weather and other factors led the coaching staff to keep Wilson in the game. Wilson completed three passes that game, all to Lynn Bowden.

After practice, Wilson was practicing throws to receivers David Bouvier, Dorian Baker and Tavin Richardson. All three have had reduced receiving statistics since the first three games of the season.

Wilson’s direct competitor, Gunnar Hoak, isn’t the only one pushing for snaps. Gran said the team would have third-string quarterback Danny Clark on standby if he was needed. Star running back Benny Snell Jr. even said he’d be ready if “all hell breaks loose,” though that was a joke.

There were other developments outside the quarterback battle that has resurged, however. Center Drake Jackson said that it would be “hard” for him to get all the way back to 100 percent health with only one day off a week, but that he felt fine against Vanderbilt and fully intends to play at Missouri. He commended guard George Asafo-Adjei on his second SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week award, the team’s fourth in seven games played.

Benny Snell Jr. said that he now likes Elton John after the team plays “Bennie and the Jets” at Kroger Field, though he does prefer to sing “Benny and the Cats” to himself.

UK will travel to Missouri on Saturday, when the Cats will take on the Tigers at 4 p.m. ET.