The news was as bad as the Big Blue Nation feared a day after Kentucky’s bittersweet win over Eastern Michigan: quarterback Terry Wilson is done for the season.
The word came Sunday afternoon that Wilson had suffered a torn patellar tendon in his left knee, requiring surgery.
“I’m very sorry about Terry’s injury,” 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 Saturday night. In two games this season, Wilson completed 33 of 52 passes (63.5 percent) 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.
The junior from Oklahoma City, Okla., has started all 15 games since his arrival last season. He has led Kentucky to a 12-3 record, including UK’s first winning Southeastern Conference mark since 1977 and a VRBO Citrus Bowl championship.
According to UK athletics, he is one of the most historically significant quarterbacks in Kentucky annals. Starting lineups are available since 1993; however, it is likely that Wilson’s 12-3 record in his first 15 starts is matched only by College Football Hall of Famer Vito “Babe” Parilli. As Kentucky’s quarterback in 1949-51, Parilli likely led his Wildcats to a 12-3 record in his first 15 starts – a 9-3 record in 1949 and a 3-0 mark to begin the 1950 season.
Sawyer Smith, the graduate transfer from Troy State, stepped in for Wilson and threw a 54-yard-touchdown strike on his first pass as a Wildcat. On his post game radio show Saturday night, Stoops said redshirt freshman Walker Wood would become the backup QB and take about 20 percent of the snaps in practice.