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Stoops won’t have “short leash” with starting quarterback at Florida

Terry Wilson (Wade Upchurch Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Question Mark Stoops about a lot of things but don’t question whether he’ll give his starting quarterback plenty of chances to atone for mistakes.

Starter Terry Wilson had three first-half turnovers against Central Michigan and also bruised his left shoulder. However, even after Gunnar Hoak led UK on a scoring drive to end the first half and played the first two series of the third quarter, Stoops went back to Wilson and probably will start him at Florida Saturday night.

“If you watched me, covered me, for the years that I’ve been here I really don’t believe in having a short leash for a quarterback, again within reason. I’m not going to sit here and tell you how everything is going to play out because I don’t know,” Stoops said Monday.

He said both quarterbacks did some good things against Central Michigan and both made first-game mistakes.

“I appreciate Gunnar stepping in a difficult situation, making some plays and putting it in the end zone. That was really important for us, at that point, to go in leading (at halftime) after giving up four turnovers in the first half. That doesn’t happen very often,” Stoops said. “That was a big touchdown for him and really sparked us. It was also good to get Terry back in the second half and play well.”

He expects the quarterbacks — as well as the entire team — to make major improvement in its play in game two even though UK has lost 31 straight times to Florida.

“I think there are some things that are easy fixes. But there are some things that are going to be a work in progress. We have to get on that quickly,” Stoops said.

“The last time we broke in a new quarterback two years ago, our turnovers were up. Last year Stephen (Johnson) did a great job, and our team did a great job and our turnovers were really down outside of the one game where it got contagious and that can’t happen again. I know we will concentrate on protecting the football.”

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  1. Not having the same leash for each player at a certain position is a sure way to cause discord among your team. Hoak had a lot shorter leash than Wilson did in the game last Saturday.

    1. UK would be in a lot better position right now QB wise if Hoak had gotten some game experience in 2017. Stoops will start Wilson against Florida, and he’ll continue to start him. I would play both QB’s in a game like Florida and see which one can get it done against SEC talent. Alabama did it Sat against Louisville. UK did it Saturday in a must do situation. Hoak got it done too when it was needed most. Stoops even admitted that. I say let them prove it at game time come Sat. Now if Wilson comes out with a hot hand, that is a different story. But that said, you can’t wait until the game gets out of hand to make a change. I wonder at times if Stoops does influence the play calling more than we think. If UK can’t start stretching the field, they can’t win against SEC teams.

  2. I agree LP. UK needs a qb that can utilize all their weapons. We here Stoops talk about how great the TEs are and how great the Receivers are, then he picks a qb that cannot get them the ball. Stoops can call it whatever he wants, but Hoak was done very dirty last year. Since Stoops picked Wilson, he will most likely live and die with him as long as Wilson can walk. That is one of Stoops biggest obstacles; the inability to change and know when to change. If both get playing time against Florida, I will be surprised.

  3. Why do we continue to talk common sense here most of the time? We get it right and this overpaid under producing staff can’t connect the dots. I am preparing myself for another beatdown and embarrassment on national tv this weekend.

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