Kentucky will be without quarterback Terry Wilson for the rest of the season.
The school announced Sunday that Wilson, a junior, suffered a torn patellar tendon in his left knee in Saturday’s win over Eastern Michigan. Wilson’s injury will require surgery.
“I’m very sorry about Terry’s injury,” UK head coach Mark Stoops said. “He has done so much for our program over the last two seasons, both in leadership and his production on the field. As a team captain, he will continue to be an important part of our team and we look forward to him returning to the field when he has recovered.”
Wilson was injured late in the third quarter on a horse collar tackle by EMU defensive lineman Turan Rush that resulted in a 15-yard penalty for EMU.
After the game, Stoops told reporters he didn’t believe it was a dirty play by Eastern Michigan.
“It can happen to anybody. They run a good program, and Terry is hard to get a hold of. I’m sure he just reached out and grabbed anything he could. It’s very unfortunate that it’s part of our game, but that’s why it’s in (the rule book),” Stoops said per the Courier Journal.
“You got a runner running full speed like that and gets jerked back and the knee can’t handle that. It’s unfortunate, and I’m sure throughout the season there is a good chance we may get called for it one time this year too. I hope not, but certainly don’t teach that and I know they don’t either.”
Kentucky will turn to Sawyer Smith
Wilson signed with Oregon out of high school but opted to transfer after redshirting his lone season with the Ducks. From there, he played the 2017 season in the junior college ranks before landing at Kentucky. He has been UK’s starting quarterback since arriving on campus. In all, Wilson has started 15 games and has thrown for 2,135 yards and 13 touchdowns while completing 67.7 percent of his passes. He also has 547 yards and four touchdowns rushing.
Without Wilson, the Wildcats will turn to Sawyer Smith, a graduate transfer from Troy. After Wilson’s injury, Smith completed 5-of-9 passes for 76 yards and two touchdowns on Saturday.
Smith began the 2018 season as the backup but ended up playing in 13 games for Troy, including seven starts, after an injury to Troy’s starter, Kaleb Barker. Smith did quite well, finishing the season with 1,669 yards, 14 touchdowns and six interceptions while completing 62.9 percent of his passes. The Trojans went 5-2 in games started by Smith.
Smith’s first start for Kentucky will be a tough one. The Wildcats, now 2-0 after Saturday’s win, host No. 9 Florida next weekend.