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Kentucky QB Terry Wilson out for season with knee injury; Sawyer Smith to start against Florida

By Keith Taylor
Kentucky Today

University of Kentucky starting quarterback Terry Wilson will miss the rest of the season after tearing his patellar tendon in his left knee the school announced Sunday.

Terry Wilson dances down the sideline against Eastern Michigan. Wilson suffered a knee injury in the third quarter and will miss the rest of the season. (Photo by Tammie Brown, Kentucky Today)

Wilson suffered the injury during the third quarter of a 38-17 win over Eastern Michigan. Wilson was carted off the field following a horse-collar tackle and didn’t return. Kentucky coach Mark Stoops was Sunday he was “very sorry about Terry’s injury.”

“He has done so much for our program over the last two seasons, both in leadership and his production on the field,” Stoops said. “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.”

In two games this season, Wilson, who is 12-3 as the team’s starting signal-caller, completed 33 of 52 passes for 360 yards and two touchdowns.  He also had 44 net rushing yards and a TD.  In the 2018 season, he completed 67.2 percent of his passes for 1,889 yards and 11 touchdowns, also running for 547 net yards and four TDs.

Troy State transfer Sawyer Smith is expected to take over as Kentucky’s quarterback and played the remainder of the game in Wilson’s absence Saturday night. His first pass was a 54-yard touchdown completion to Ahmad Wagner. Smith threw for 76 yards and two touchdowns and made good on five passes on nine attempts against the Eagles.

Smith was disappointed in Wilson’s injury and wanted to see Wilson finish out his junior campaign. 

Sawyer Smith (Photo form UK Athletics)

“That’s not what you want as a friend or competitor,” he said. “Terry was having a great game, had a really good game last week and was playing well, to see this happen, you know, I love Terry. You have to do what you have to do. You have to go out there and play.”

Smith took over as the Trojans starter in the seventh game of the season last year and threw for 317 yards against Louisiana and had a 63-yard rush — the second-longest by a Troy quarterback in school history — against Georgia State. In his last game with the Trojans, Smith led Troy to a 42-32 win over Buffalo in the Dollar General Bowl. He threw for 320 yards and four touchdowns.

“I learned last year roar you have to get into a different mindset quickly,” he said. “It’s good that it happened last year (at Troy) because I have experience now. I have full confidence in the staff to get me ready. I have to get ready and keep it going.”

Gametracker: Florida at Kentucky, 7 p.m., Saturday. TV/Radio: ESPN, UK Radio Network

Keith Taylor is sports editor for Kentucky Today. Reach him at keith.taylor@kentuckytoday.com or twitter @keithtaylor21.

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