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Terry Wilson wins 9th Annual Howard Schnellenberger MVP Award

Award Given to MVP on Winning Team in Annual UofL vs UK Kentucky Governor’s Cup

Louisville, Ky. – November 24, 2018 – University of Kentucky sophomore quarterback Terry Wilson was named winner of the 2018 Howard Schnellenberger MVP Award after leading the Wildcats in a 56-10 win over the University of Louisville today at Cardinal Stadium. Wilson was selected by a vote of the working media covering the game.

Wilson closed out the Governor’s Cup win with 261 yards passing on 17 of 23 passing with three touchdown passes and one interception. Wilson also carried the ball 10 times for 79 yards and a touchdown.

“Really pleased with Terry,” Kentucky coach Mark Stoops said. “Felt like he did some really good things. He was what, 14 of 16 in the first half? Really put it away at the end of the first half. Really played some really good football down the stretch, late in the second quarter. With us getting the ball to start the third quarter, I know that was big.”

“Terry Touchdown,” Wilson’s nickname when he arrived in Lexington, was spectacular in the first half of Kentucky’s win, completing 14 of 16 passes for 208 yards and a pair of touchdowns, helping UK amass a commanding 35-10 halftime lead. His three-yard touchdown run put Kentucky up 14-0 with 2:05 left in the first quarter.

“It was huge for us,” Wilson said of the fast start. “It was a mindset for us that we need to go out there and show everybody how explosive we are as an offense. We just came out humming, ready to go. Ready to make plays. I thought it was contagious.”

After Louisville cut Kentucky’s lead to 21-10, Wilson led Kentucky on an eight-play, 75-yard touchdown drive, finding Lynn Bowden, Jr., with a 28-yard touchdown pass. The Wildcats got the ball back with just over two minutes left before halftime and Wilson led UK on a quick touchdown drive of seven plays and 67 yards in just 95 seconds capped by a 13-yard pass to Bowden.

“I thought he played a great game,” Louisville interim coach Lorenzo Ward said. “He struggled, to me, as I watched him all season, with throwing the deep ball. But he connected on a few today. That’s what you like to do when you’ve got a running back like (Benny) Snell, you like to load the box and try to make Terry beat you throwing the football.”

Snell missed a significant portion of the second half due to injury, but Wilson added to his touchdown total with a 32-yard touchdown pass to Josh Ali at the start of the fourth quarter to put Kentucky up 42-10.

The 6-foot-3, 205-pound junior college transfer from Oklahoma City led Kentucky to the Wildcats first 9-win regular season since 1977. He entered Saturday’s Governor’s Cup with 1,507 yards passing and eight touchdowns, completing 67 percent of his passes with seven interceptions.

Stoops said Wilson continued to work even though he struggled with being new to the team and was injured midway through the season.

“It is tough,” Stoops said. “Him being a transfer and not knowing the lay of his land or his teammates and just playing in general. Being a first-year starter is difficult in college football, in particular in our league. He’s really grown and stayed the course and stayed steady. He had some highs and lows. It’s tough. He has to be able to handle that and keep on pushing forward.”

Wilson led Kentucky with 2,286 yards of total offense this season after racking up 340 total yards Saturday night in Cardinal Stadium.

The Howard Schnellenberger MVP Award, presented annually to the most valuable player on the winning team in the University of Louisville – University of Kentucky football game, was created in 2010 by the Louisville Sports Commission. The Award received the blessing from both athletic departments and honors Schnellenberger, who has remarkable football credentials and is the only person inducted into both the UK and UofL athletic halls of fame.

A Louisville native, Schnellenberger was recruited to UK by the legendary Bear Bryant, earned varsity letters in 1952-53-54-55 and was an All-American tight end for the Wildcats under Blanton Collier as a senior. Schnellenberger was an assistant coach at UK under Collier in 1959 and 1960. As the head coach at UofL for 10 years (1985-1994), Schnellenberger is credited with rejuvenating the football program and boosting support for a new, on-campus stadium. He led the Cardinals to victories in the Liberty and Fiesta Bowls.

In 2011, Schnellenberger retired as head coach and director of football operations at Florida Atlantic University, having built the Division I program from scratch starting in 1998. From the 1960s through the 1980s, he was an integral part of four college national championships and two Super Bowl victories. His upstart Miami Hurricanes won the 1983 title and he was offensive coordinator under Bryant at Alabama for titles in 1961, 1964 and 1965. At Miami, Louisville and FAU, Schnellenberger-coached teams are a remarkable 6-0 in bowl games. He was the offensive coordinator for the Miami Dolphins under Don Shula, including the 17-0 season in 1972, and assistant under George Allen with the LA Rams.

Famed for his offensive football genius, Schnellenberger has influenced a memorable list of quarterbacks, including Joe Namath, Kenny Stabler, Roman Gabriel, Bob Griese, Earl Morrall, Bert Jones, Jim Kelly, Bernie Kosar, Vinny Testaverde, Mark Richt, Browning Nagel, Jay Gruden, Jeff Brohm and Rusty Smith.

Year-by-Year Howard Schnellenberger Award Winners

2017 Schnellenberger Award Winner. University of Louisville junior quarterback Lamar Jackson earned his second Schnellenberger Award (he also won in 2015) by amassing 372 yards in total offense and leading the Cardinals to a 44-17 blowout win over rival UK. Jackson completed 15 of 21 passes for 216 yards and two touchdowns and ran 18 times for 156 yards. The 2016 Heisman Trophy winner accounted for 22 total first downs on the ground and in the air, and averaged 8.7 yards-per-carry and 10.9 yards-per-pass attempt. This was Jackson’s 12th consecutive game with more than 300 yards in total offense and his eighth consecutive game with more than 100 yards rushing, both school records.

2016 Schnellenberger Award Winner. University of Kentucky junior quarterback Stephen Johnson earned the Award after leading the visiting Wildcats to a wild, 41-38 upset win. Johnson completed 16 of 27 passes for 338 yards and three touchdowns, and rushed for 83 yards on eight carries in leading UK to its seventh win of the season. Unflustered and precise in front of a raucous crowd, Johnson engineered a masterful, seven-play, 60-yard drive that consumed 1:33 and led to UK’s winning 47-yard field goal with 00:12 remaining in the game. On the game-winning drive, he was 2-2 passing for 34 yards and scrambled 15 yards for a first down to put the Wildcats in field goal range.

2015 Schnellenberger Award Winner. UofL freshman quarterback Lamar Jackson earned the Award by rushing for two touchdowns and throwing for one as he led the Cardinals to a 38-24 come-from-behind win over Kentucky in Commonwealth Stadium. With the Cardinals down 21-0, Jackson entered the game in mid first quarter to engineer the dramatic comeback by rushing for 186 yards and throwing for 130. Down 24-7 at intermission, UofL score 31 straight points in the second half.

2014 Schnellenberger Award Winner. UofL junior wide receiver Devante Parker earned the Award with six catches for 180 yards and three touchdowns in a wild back and forth game in Cardinal Stadium that Louisville won 38-34. Parker, a Louisville native out of Ballard High School, notched his seventh 100-yard receiving game and tied the UofL career touchdown receiving record with 33. The game featured nearly 800 yards in combined total offense and seven lead changes.

2013 Schnellenberger Award Winner. Teddy Bridgewater captured his second consecutive MVP Award when he threw to seven different receivers in UofL’s 27-13 win over UK at Commonwealth Stadium. For the day, Bridgewater was 16-28 passing for 250 yards and one touchdown with no interceptions. He lofted a second quarter touchdown pass to wide receiver Devante Parker deep in the corner of the end zone for the go-ahead score.

2012 Schnellenberger Award Winner. Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater earned the Award with a sterling performance in UofL’s 32-14 win over UK at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium. He completed 19-21 passes for 232 yards and no interceptions and set a UofL single-game record with a 90.5 percent completion rate. He led UofL on a 15-play 99-yard scoring drive on the Cardinals’ first possession and a six-play 85-yard scoring drive on their second possession for a lead they would never relinquish.

2011 Schnellenberger Award Winner. A senior linebacker and Louisville native, Dexter Heyman earned the Award as the Cardinals defeated the Wildcats 24-17 at Commonwealth Stadium. Heyman made 12 tackles, two for a loss, and a forced fumble recovered by a teammate, leading the Cardinal defense that limited the Wildcats to 35 yards rushing in 32 carries.

2010 Schnellenberger Award Winner. UK senior running back Derrick Locke was named the inaugural recipient of the Award for his performance in the Wildcats’ 23-16 win over UofL at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium. Locke registered 150 all-purpose yards, including 104 rushing yards on 23 carries. He scored two first quarter touchdowns for a lead UK would never relinquish.