Kentucky transfer Terry Wilson is now officially the starting quarterback for New Mexico.
Wilson joined the Lobos after a nice SEC run in which he finished 17-8 as a starter for the Wildcats, including a remarkable 10-3 season in 2018. That year, the Wildcats also claimed a Citrus Bowl win, as well as a No. 12 ranking to end the season. Wilson was also the only player in UK history to throw for 3,000 yards (3,436) and rush for 1,000 (1,015).
A severe knee injury sidelined him during the 2019 season, and then crept into the 2020 season as well. Unfortunately in college athletics, the window for success is small sometimes, and by 2021, Wilson was no longer the starter.
The move to New Mexico appears to be a perfect fit, as the Lobos churned through a staggering five quarterbacks last year due to injury or poor play. Second-year head coach Danny Gonzalez, a New Mexico football alumnus himself, will have the defense ready to compete, but so often a team only goes as far as the quarterback takes them. If Wilson’s time in Lexington is any indication, and he stays healthy, this team could surprise some bettors late Saturday night a few times this season.
FanDuel Sportsbook currently has the Lobos priced at an absurd 100-1 to even win their own division of the Mountain West, much less the conference. Taking a flyer price like that is pure gambling and I would never advise it, but how often have we seen preseason analysts completely whiff on their conference projections? It happens all the time; and while I may stay away from a futures bet, there’s no doubt that New Mexico pulls off a few upsets this season.
Here's how to bet them: look for let-down spots, like Air Force coming into Albuquerque on Oct. 2 (they play Wyoming the following week in a much bigger game), or big programs simply overlooking the Lobos, like Texas A&M on Sept. 18 first thing in the morning. New Mexico will be a frisky home dog against Air Force, and a massive dog against A&M with backdoor cover potential written all over it.
Also, as the season progresses, look to fade teams that have trouble stopping dual-threat quarterbacks. If Wilson has a chance to pick up yards with his feet, he’s going to do it, and the Lobos are going to cover because of it.
The Wilson kid is a player, and he isn’t getting much national press despite accomplishing more in the SEC than any UK quarterback before him. These ‘under-the-radar’ stories are what gambling dreams are made of, so be sure to keep an eye on New Mexico this season if you’re trying to grind out that all-important 55 percent.
Cover photo via NM Athletic Dept.