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BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: The 10 QB’s Since Couch


Ever since Tim Couch took over the reins of the UK quarterback position in 1997, the group of men that have occupied that spot on a regular basis is 10.  Some have done it a couple times (Randall Cobb, Matt Roark) and some might do it this year (Drew Barker), but the number of guys to be the regular starter for UK is 10.  I have decided to take a long look at those 10 guys and rank them.  Let me be clear about something:

This not only is about talent but also results.  How a guy actually performed matters, even as much as his talent.

And where would you rank Patrick Towles at this point as well?

2004: 54-88, 492 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT, 0 rushing TD (0-1 record)
2005: 146-253, 1644 yards, 6 TD, 6 INT, 1 rushing TD (4-8 record)
2006: 264-419, 3515 yards, 31 TD, 7 INT, 1 rushing TD (8-5 record, 1-0 bowl)
2007: 327-518, 3709 yards, 40 TD, 11 INT, 3 rushing TD (8-5 record, 1-0 bowl)
Career: 791-1278, 9360 yards, 79 TD, 25 INT, 5 rushing TD (20-19 record, 2-0 bowl)

Was Woodson as talented as Couch?  I don’t know but I’d probably say no.  But the fact remains that Woodson’s stats stack up with Couch’s as well as the fact he didn’t turn the ball over near as much, plus won more games.  Were Woodson’s teammates better?  I’m not sure he ever had a WR like Craig Yeast.  He also won his bowl games.  He had a better career than Couch statistically.

1996: 32-84, 277 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 0 rushing TD (Non-Starter)
1997: 363-547, 3884 yards, 37 TD, 19 INT, 3 rushing TD (5-6 record)
1998: 430-601, 4611 yards, 38 TD, 17 INT, 1 rushing TD (7-5 record, 0-1 bowl)
Career: 825-1232, 8772 yards, 76 TD, 37 INT, 4 rushing TD (12-11 record, 0-1 bowl)

Couch had more of an impact on the program than Andre Woodson.  And he was likely a better talent.  But the stats are just slightly behind Andre.  It’s basically 1A and 1B with those 2, but I think the 2 bowl wins push Andre over the top.

2000: 321-559, 3687 yards, 19 TD, 21 INT, 5 rushing TD (2-9 record)
2001: 167-292, 2179 yards, 19 TD, 7 INT, 2 rushing TD (1-5 record)
2002: 183-287, 2267 yards, 24 TD, 5 INT, 0 rushing TD (7-5 record)
2003: 191-336, 2221 yards, 16 TD, 8 INT, 5 rushing TD (4-8 record)
Career: 862-1474, 10354 yards, 78 TD, 41 INT, 12 rushing TD (14-27 record)

Lorenzen could argue for the top spot based on his stats.  But that career record brings him down to #3.  Was that entirely his fault?  Of course not.  But he did make some bad errors in key moments (Florida?) that stand out in people’s minds.  Being #3 behind Woodson and Couch should not be considered an insult though. 

1999: 303-465, 3266 yards, 26 TD, 13 INT, 3 rushing TD (6-6 record, 0-1 bowl)
Career: Same

Would have been interesting to see Bonner finish his career at UK.  Might have gone up this list a little higher. 

2007: 4-6, 34 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT, 0 rushing TD (Non-Starter)
2008: 172-311, 1666 yards, 9 TD, 8 INT, 0 rushing TD (6-3 record, 1-0 bowl)
2009: 79-133, 802 yards, 6 TD, 7 INT, 0 rushing TD (2-3 record)
2010: 268-405, 3178 yards, 23 TD, 9 INT, 0 rushing TD (6-6 record)
Career: 523-855, 5680 yards, 38 TD, 24 INT, 0 rushing TD (14-12 record, 1-0 bowl)

Saved his career at UK with wonderful last season.  His suspension in the bowl game though was somewhat of the beginning of the downfall of Joker Phillips.  The program never got better after that point.

2012: 19-40, 233 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT (Non-Starter)
2014: 225-392, 2718 yards, 14 TD, 9 INT, 6 rushing TD (5-7 record)
Career: 244-432, 2951 yards, 15 TD, 10 INT, 6 rushing TD (5-7 record)

I think he could easily get to #4 on this list with a big year this year.  Take the Cats back to a bowl and use senior season to see how far he can go.  Or, things could go south and he loses job to Barker and forever stays in this spot.  Sky is the future for this guy.

2011: 84-153, 819 yards, 4 TD, 4 INT (1-2 record)
2012: 103-150, 975 yards, 8 TD, 4 INT (1-2 record)
2013: 105-183, 1276 yards, 9 TD, 1 INT (1-3 record)
Career: 292-486, 3070 yards, 21 TD, 9 INT (3-7 record)

Injuries always seemed to limit what he could have been.  2013 was shaping up to be a big year before he was injured and never played again at UK.

2009: 75-135, 706 yards, 6 TD, 3 INT, 2 rushing TD (5-3 record, 0-1 bowl)
2010: 25-43, 265 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT, 0 rushing TD (0-1 record, 0-1 bowl)
2011: 83-174, 793 yards, 8 TD, 7 INT, 2 rushing TD (2-5 record)
2012: 10-32, 73 yards, 1 TD, 3 INT, 1 rushing TD (non-starter)
Career: 193-386, 1838 yards, 15 TD, 13 INT, 5 rushing TD (7-9 record, 0-2 bowl)

2001: 85-154, 852 yards, 4 TD, 6 INT, 3 rushing TD (1-4 record)
2002: 10-19, 99 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT, 1 rushing TD (Non-Starter)
2003: 15-43, 205 yards, 2 TD, 2 INT, 4 rushing  TD (Non-Starter)
2004: 138-263, 1328 yards, 7 TD, 9 INT, 5 rushing TD (2-8 record)
Career: 248-479, 2484 yards, 13 TD, 17 INT, 13 rushing TD (3-12 record)

2012: 87-161, 801 yards, 3 TD, 2 INT, 3 rushing TD (1-6 record)
2013: 98-159, 1033 yards, 5 TD, 5 INT, 6 rushing TD (1-7 record)
Career: 185-320, 1834 yards, 8 TD, 7 INT, 9 rushing TD (2-13 record)

Article written by Bryan the Intern

36 Comments for BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: The 10 QB’s Since Couch

  1. asdf
    9:07 am July 30, 2015 Permalink

    Woodson’s 40 TD season is still an SEC record, and one that is, to me, the most impressive accomplishment by a QB at UK. Now that we have a playoff and more games, the record will probably fall soon to someone playing 14 or 15 games, but the way Woodson did it is more impressive.

  2. Claytoris
    9:07 am July 30, 2015 Permalink

    Missing one that is fairly high on list! Randall Cobb

    • cats42301
      3:39 pm July 30, 2015 Permalink

      Read the whole post again.

  3. Pete
    9:09 am July 30, 2015 Permalink

    Well that was depressing…

    • catdaddyd
      2:54 pm July 30, 2015 Permalink


  4. Ricky
    9:17 am July 30, 2015 Permalink

    Not really arguing for Couch over Woodson as I do believe Woodson had the better career, but I disagree that Woodson didn’t have any receivers like Yeast. Both Stevie Johnson and Jacob Tamme are still playing in the NFL and and neither of them were even the number one option on that team as they had Keenan Burton plus Rafael Little was a great receiver out of the backfield. I don’t think we’ve ever seen a better collection of skill position players at UK than at that time.

    Also, this is probably just nitpicking, but I’d put both Shane Boyd and Jalen Whitlow over Morgan Newton. Newton came in with very high expectations (along with Ryan Mossakowski), but it just never worked out.

    • asdf
      9:20 am July 30, 2015 Permalink

      Also, Woodson threw downfield more than Couch, who mostly threw almost-laterals to the flats, and then Yeast and others would turn them into long yardage. Couch got credit for a 30 yarder even if he only threw it one yard. Not to take anything away from Couch, but that’s how it was…

    • J-Dub421
      9:54 am July 30, 2015 Permalink

      Couch also had to suffer through the incompetence of Bill Curry as his coach. Imagine what his stats would be if he’d been coached by Mumme all three years.

    • cats42301
      3:53 pm July 30, 2015 Permalink

      I agree with you on Morgan Newton! That was another nail in Joker’s coffin, continually sticking with him and NEVER letting Ryan Mossakowki take a snap in a real game. That was completely inexcusable to never give Mossakowki his chance at UK especially considering he was a 4 star recruit also, in fact it was asinine! After Hartline was suspended from playing in the Bowl game against Pitt, it should have been time for Ryan to get his chance after holding a clipboard for 2 years. Instead Joker went right back to Newton who had been ineffective all year and we see how that game ended up. I will never understand how a coach never gave a 4 star qb recruit an opportunity but that’s the reason Joker is where he is now…where is he now anyway?? Lol

  5. Red Headed Stepchild
    9:43 am July 30, 2015 Permalink

    THANK YOU, BTI !!! I have been saying Woodson was better than Couch for years. Woodson’s teams were ranked and beat TOP 5 teams. I will ever forget the #1 LSU night game. Andre always played with more composure than Couch. Two Great QBs, glad we get to call our own.

    • Red Headed Stepchild
      9:44 am July 30, 2015 Permalink

      **NEVER forget

  6. KevinM
    9:55 am July 30, 2015 Permalink

    I saw Morgan Newton throw that ball over the practice field onto the carport. That video right ought to get you ranked 10. Add to the fact Newton played the entire bowl game in Bham ignoring Randall Cobb and that’s all you need to know.

    Matt Roark is a hero in my books by beating UT…..he takes Max Smith’s slot.

    • cats42301
      3:57 pm July 30, 2015 Permalink

      He also ignored Ryan Mossakowski in the bowl game. A 4 star qb recruit who never took a snap in 2 years under Joker. He ended up transferring without ever playing under Joker. Makes me think all over again that Joker had no business being a HC in the SEC! I agree with your post btw.

  7. vickster
    10:35 am July 30, 2015 Permalink

    No disrespect to Woodson, but between he and Couch, did Woodson ever play in a New Year’s Day Bowl game? Was Woodson a Heisman finalist? Does draft position play into consideration in this comparison?

    10:42 am July 30, 2015 Permalink

    Is everyone failing to notice that Tim effectively has 2 seasons worth of stats vs. Woodson’s 4 and yet still bettered him in some categories??

    • cats42301
      4:05 pm July 30, 2015 Permalink

      As others have mentioned UK’s offense under Mumme was Couch. A run was a couch pass to Anthony white, an end around was a quick pass to Kio Sanford. All im saying is couch had more of an opportunity to rack up more stats than did woodson’s teams’ that always had a good running game. I loved them both though! Tough choice.

  9. The Professor
    11:30 am July 30, 2015 Permalink

    I have to question a couple of your remarks. You try to compare Woodson and Couch talent-wise, there is no comparison. Couch was taken #1 in the draft. Woodson could not even make it as a #3 QB for even one year in the NFL. Couch had Yeast but not much more. Woodson had NFL quality receivers at every position. Stevie Johnson, Dicky Lyons, Tamme, and Burton, plus Rafael Little. Rarely did he put the ball where they caught it in stride. They bailed him out with their receiving ability more often than not. Lorenzen had more talent than Woodson as well but had much less talent around him. Jared had a stronger arm and could make plays with his legs.

      11:32 am July 30, 2015 Permalink

      Agree 100%

  10. Critic Cat
    11:32 am July 30, 2015 Permalink

    Easy to hate on Morgan Newton; he was the scape goat for Joker’s talentless teams. He certainly didn’t live up to the hype either, but the guy happened to be the quarterback for the last road SEC games the CATS have won.

    Woodson was the best college player although he lacked the good ole sling and duck poster boy image that Couch carried.

    Hartline was probably the most underrated of the bunch. Although is he had some pros surrounding him, he was overall one of the guys that managed a team that inferior talent and conservative coaching very well. Probably not the most likeable off the field, but productive.

    • cats42301
      4:28 pm July 30, 2015 Permalink

      Newton was hardly the reason for the win at Auburn in 09. He was replaced in the 2nd half by Will Fidler who lead the comeback. Most of the offense was Cobb who rushed for 109 yards and Locke who rushed for 126 yds. Morgan Newton was 5-13 for 39 yds passing! Cobb had a long run which set up the go ahead TD win a couple mins left. You can say Newton had something to do with the win at Georgia in 09. He was 9-17 for 137 yds but passed for 3 tds. Georgia didn’t help themselves any as they had 4 turnovers in the game. So Newton may have been starting QB for these wins but I think it’s safe to say we won in spite of him not because of him. More so in the Auburn win

  11. The Water Boy
    11:36 am July 30, 2015 Permalink

    I am pretty pumped to see that the #2 quarterback SINCE Tim Couch was in fact, Tim Couch.

    And BTI, if anything, is consistent in making ludicrous statements supported by meaningless statistics.

  12. Thenamerobdigity
    11:38 am July 30, 2015 Permalink

    Couch was the # 1 pick in the draft, Woodson was 198th overall. Couch helped invent the Air Raid offense that is partially used by about every team today. Couch made the NFL playoffs, while Woodson never made a roster. The offense under Curry was an option offense, and had to switch to a completly wide open offense. I don’t know of an instance that doing that has been a smooth transition. Woodson had very good recievers and more talent around him. When I try to compare players, I would think if they switched roles and run eachothers offense. I believe Couch would have much more success with the offense from Woodsons years.

    The only thing Woodson has over Couch is having that extra year.

    • catdaddyd
      2:44 pm July 30, 2015 Permalink

      Couch helped invent the air raid? Lol The offense had been around for years, derived from BYU from the 80’s and then the run and shoot offense.

    • cats42301
      4:37 pm July 30, 2015 Permalink

      I don’t disagree with you but at one time Woodson was projected to be a top 10 draft pick but at the end of the season someone, I can’t really remember who, maybe a scout spread a rumour he had a terrible hitch in his throwing motion during tryouts or somewhere and it caused Woodson’s draft status to drop like lead ballon and effectively ended his nfl career before it ever started.

  13. Jeremy
    12:56 pm July 30, 2015 Permalink

    Having Tim Couch #2 is ridiculous!!! If he would have played his Senior season, Woodson’s 40 TD’s in a season would not have been an SEC record… Also, the talent on Woodson’s team was far superior to Couch’s. And they still never made a New Year’s Day Bowl. BTI is truly on CRACK!!!!!

  14. UKBlue1!
    1:20 pm July 30, 2015 Permalink

    Couch is the best quarterback to play at UK in the past 30 years bar-none. He had the misfortune of being drafted by the Cleveland Browns. The did not protect him and basically he was killed by the NFL. If you look at his NFL numbers on a hapless Browns team he still managed to be consistently in in the lower middle of the NFL quarterback ratings. (18-23) Between Bill Curry and the Browns they ruined what should have been a awesome career. Jared Lorenzen should have been a head of Andre Woodson. If he would have got his weight under control and played at 250-260 he would have had a NFL career. Woodson played with a better core group of players than Couch or Lorenzen.

  15. Critic Cat
    1:45 pm July 30, 2015 Permalink

    Lorenzen didn’t win many games and hardly any big games and at the end of the day, that’s the difference maker. On top of that he never committed himself to the game or to the team, weighing as much as he did was a (selfish) choice.

    • catdaddyd
      2:47 pm July 30, 2015 Permalink

      14-27 record got him into Kentucky hall of fame.

    • Critic Cat
      10:22 pm July 31, 2015 Permalink

      Stellar! probably because people like you are voting him in

    • catdaddyd
      1:12 am August 1, 2015 Permalink

      I wasn’t saying it was deserving. I guess I should’ve put lol after my previous comment.

  16. catdaddyd
    2:52 pm July 30, 2015 Permalink

    Picking the top UK QB is like picking the world’s tallest midget. Look at those won loss records. And while we are at it, don’t name the field after a coach with a losing record. Brooks 39-47.

    • cats42301
      4:54 pm July 30, 2015 Permalink

      So you agree what we have is better? A former AD who career path had been basketball. An AD who had no connection to the football program or ever did anything for it. His claim to fame at UK was hiring Rick Pitino. Using your criteria of W-L records we would only have a handful of names in the ring of honor. The idea has been mentioned of putting a statue of Tim Couch outside of CWS but, sorry Tim you had a losing record at UK and you lost in your only bowl game. I guess by having to have a won/loss record above .500 we are only left with Bear Bryant, Babe Parilli, George Blanda, Derrick Ramsey …..I don’t know who else? Not many.

    • cats42301
      4:57 pm July 30, 2015 Permalink

      And please take your time so you can think of a really funny, witty reply. I can hardly wait for the hilarious reply you’ll come up with. Haha.

    • catdaddyd
      1:09 am August 1, 2015 Permalink

      you shouldn’t be rewarded for being mediocre

    • catdaddyd
      1:19 am August 1, 2015 Permalink

      A statue of Couch throwing a two yard pass. Give me a break. Maybe we should put one of him crying when he was booed at Cleveland.

  17. Underachiever
    4:25 pm July 30, 2015 Permalink