'We're confident in him:' Kentucky believes in Sawyer Smith

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) -- Terry Wilson will miss the remainder of the 2019 season with a torn tendon in his left knee, but Kentucky thinks highly of its backup Sawyer Smith.

Photo: Regina Rickert

Replacing an injured quarterback is something Smith has been through before. Last season at Troy, the Trojans starting quarterback was knocked out with an injury and Sawyer embraced that next man up mentality.

He won five of his seven starts, including a bowl win over Buffalo and that experience gives Mark Stoops plenty of confidence that he can get the job done.

"The good news is Sawyer's been through this," said Stoops. "Sawyer's played a lot. He's had to step in. He stepped in this past week and played very good. So we're excited about him and we're confident in him."

But it's not just what he did at Troy that gained his teammates respect. In Saturday's win over Eastern Michigan, Sawyer threw a touchdown to Ahmad Wagner on his very first pass in a Kentucky uniform. Not a bad way to get the ball rolling.

"They've had confidence in Sawyer. So, yeah, I think it's important that Sawyer goes in there and first pass he throws is a touchdown, that's pretty good," said Stoops. "I told him when he came off, "that's a pretty good start, one for one." (Laughter). So, yeah, I think the guys have a lot of confidence in him."

Saturday night, Sawyer Smith will become the first quarterback to make his first career start at UK against a Top 10 team since Tim Couch visited top-ranked Florida in 1996.

If Sawyer pulls off a win, it would be Kentucky's first win over Florida in Lexington in 33 years.

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