Kentucky QB coach says Wildcats prepared to throw the ball '35-40 times a game' this season
Kentucky finished dead-last in the Southeastern Conference in passing last season while having the school’s all-time leading rusher to lean on in the backfield. Now that Benny Snell is off to the NFL after being drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Wildcats are prepared to ask Terry Wilson to win them games in the fall.
That may have already gone without saying but considering Wilson’s inconsistent debut in Lexington, most would be surprised to see Kentucky air it out on offense this fall. According to the team’s quarterback coach, Darin Hinshaw, that’s exactly the plan for the Wildcats.
During a recent appearance at the Louisville Quarterback Club, Hinshaw hinted that Kentucky’s offense could be unrecognizable next season.
“Last year we were more about running the ball. We had a first year quarterback with Terry Wilson and he only threw about 20 times a game. We are going to have to increase that this year to 35 to 40 times a game,” Hinshaw said according to Larry Vaught of Vaught’s Views.
Hinshaw was close with his first number as Kentucky averaged 22.7 passing attempts per contest last season. If he’s accurate on the second number, things are going to look very different in Lexington this fall.
Before you completely scoff at the notion of Wilson winging the ball all over the field, it should be noted that the Kentucky quarterback did complete over 67 percent of his passes last season and claims to have played through a significant leg injury during the middle of the season — which would explain his dip in overall production during that time.
After recovering from his injury and gaining a deeper understanding of the offense, Hinshaw worked to improve Wilson’s mechanics this offseason. This is what the Kentucky QB had to say about the work that was put in this offseason and having a better grasp of the offensive system leading up to team’s spring game.
“Just being dialed in, just doing the little things right and doing what we are supposed to be doing and the big plays will happen. As long as we just take care of the little things and keep pounding it and keep being explosive off the ball,” Wilson said back in the spring. “Everybody is running the right route, I’m going through my reads right, all the little things; I feel like we’re going to be explosive, really explosive. Just getting that chemistry, keep working, keep grinding. We will get there.”
The adjustments didn’t come as completely natural at first to Wilson but after grinding through the spring, he adjusted and it showed during Kentucky’s spring game.
“At the start of the spring, we have been changing little things like mechanics and stuff like that,” he continued. “Coach Hinshaw has been doing a good job of getting us in the right position and get our shoulders on target and quicken up our feet. It took a minute to get used to it but I feel like now, it’s become second nature.”
If Hinshaw is telling the truth, all the work Wilson has put in this offseason will be put to good use in Lexington as the offense may only go as far as its QB can take them this fall.