Welcome to the show, Sawyer Smith.

With quarterback Terry Wilson out for the season with a torn patellar tendon, Smith is now stepping into his new role as the University of Kentucky's starting quarterback. It's not a totally unfamiliar situation for Smith or the Wildcats, though.

As a sophomore last season at Troy, Smith started the final seven games of the season and went 5-2 as the Trojans' leading signal-caller. Though he didn't arrive to Lexington until late June -- he had to finish summer school to graduate from Troy, doing so in just three years -- Smith finds himself in similar circumstances.

"It helps a lot," the 6-foot-3 quarterback said after Saturday's victory. "... 'Next man up' is a cliché to say, but that's what it is."

However, there's a big difference between defeating Georgia Southern and Buffalo at Troy, or even closing out UK's 38-17 win over Eastern Michigan on Saturday, and squaring off against No. 9 Florida in your first start for the Wildcats.

After all, with revenge on their minds from last year's loss, you can bet the Gators aren't going to let Smith get too comfortable when they come calling Saturday.

In fact, Florida has made a living early this season in pressuring quarterbacks. In allowing just 10 points per game to opponents, the Gators' defense leads the nation with 15 sacks across two games.

Those aren't numbers you want to hear if you're UK.

"They're just a very disruptive defense," Wildcats coach Mark Stoops said at Monday's media availability. "(Florida defensive coordinator) Todd Grantham does a remarkable job; very good coach I have a lot of respect for. And they do just a really good job. They have really good players. They have some game-wreckers up there up front."

Despite the Gators' stout defense, though, Stoops expressed the trust he has in Smith to make the right plays.

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

Some of that sentiment is most certainly coach-speak, in an effort to keep both Smith's confidence and his team's morale as high as he can.

On the other hand, Smith did show plenty of potential in limited time.

He completed 5-of-9 pass attempts for 78 yards and two touchdowns after entering late in the third quarter against Eastern Michigan. Smith's first-ever throw as a Wildcat went to Ahmad Wilson for a 54-yard score.

Last season at Troy, Smith passed for 1,669 yards and 14 touchdowns with six interceptions, completing 62.9% of his completions.

With Smith's experience and his already-extensive knowledge of the UK playbook, Wildcats coaches don't expect much, if any, letdown from a leadership perspective, either.

"He had great command of the offense when he was in there, didn't try to force anything," Stoops said. "He is who he is, and he handles himself very good. And with that the way he goes out and plays, he'll get more and more of those opportunities to earn that trust and to be in a leadership position."

Stoops and Kentucky have already been in this situation before, as well, and it worked out just fine for them then.

When Drew Barker went down in the third game of the season in 2016, backup quarterback Stephen Johnson was forced into playing. The Cats finished 7-6 that year and even earned a bowl appearance, despite the adversity.

It just goes to show that anything can happen in college football, and the rest of UK's season is no different.

Smith could enter and help the Wildcats continue their recent trend of winning football, or it could end up being a struggle for the remainder of 2019.

Either way, facing Florida will be the biggest challenge of Smith's career.

Welcome to the show, young man.

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