For the first half of the 2014 season Kentucky quarterback Patrick Towles played with the confidence and swag that earned him the nickname Patty Ice (1,541 yards, 10 TDs, 4 INTs). He came down to earth a bit in the second half of last season’s campaign (1,177 yards, 4 TDs, 5 INTs).
For the second consecutive season he was named UK’s starting quarterback and expectations for his productivity in 2015 rose quickly. The results had been up and down.
There was the season opener against Louisiana where his yardage and touchdowns numbers were good but questions about misses on deep balls surfaced.
Whispers for Drew Barker to get some serious burn surfaced as well.
After a disastrous opening possession on the road at South Carolina he was very efficient (21 for 29) as he led the offense on a spree of 24 unanswered points to close out the first half.
The second half in Columbia and the following four quarters against Florida (8 for 24) Towles and the offense hit a lull. There were missed opportunities to knock off the Gators and the whispers for Barker had become outright clamoring at this point.
The backup quarterback is always the most popular guy on the team in a lot of fan’s eyes. However, starting Barker against Missouri, the SEC’s top ranked defense going into Saturday night, would be putting him in a tight spot. He may have come in and played lights out but there was certainly no guarantee of that. If he had come in and struggled then you have had two quarterbacks who weren’t clicking and that would have just muddled up the dilemma that much more.
Yes, Auburn did make a move when they benched Jeremy Johnson in favor of Sean White against Mississippi State. Yes, it was White’s first ever start and he was making it against an SEC defense. Not an ideal situation, but Johnson’s struggles were on a totally different level than Towles’.
It never came close to even getting to that point Saturday at the new Commonwealth Stadium.
Patrick Towles took matters into his own hands.
— Vinny Hardy (@VinnyHardy) September 27, 2015
No that wasn’t how it was drawn up, I was being sarcastic. That said, I did think that play calmed Towles down, relaxed and propelled him to the great game that he had (22 for 27, 249 yds, 2 TDs and the rushing TD).
The world doubted Towles. Pat answered bell, repeatedly. Gutsy game. No frustrated Cat fans leaving tonight. Dawson called heck of game.
— Freddie Maggard (@FredMaggard) September 27, 2015
Hey let’s sit Pat, that would be smart. Huge plays big man. #BBN
— jared lorenzen (@JaredLorenzen22) September 27, 2015
Up next, the Eastern Kentucky Colonels. The Cats are 3-1. They need to come out and handle business and leave all of the off-field negativity surrounding this game alone.
STOOPS on Fr. QB Drew Barker getting game action: I would love to play him in this game, he will play in this game.
— Kentucky Football (@UKFootball) September 28, 2015
If that’s the case, it looks like the portion of Big Blue Nation that was in Drew Barker’s camp will get its wish.