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The UK Conversation Most Fans are Having: Towles and Barker

TowlesBarker.0.0

Sports fandom in the modern age is very interesting. On the one hand, fans have more ability to interact with each other and express their opinions about their favorite teams that at any time in the history of sports. Thanks to social media, message boards, comment sections, etc, fans who have virtually any opinion about their team cannot only give it out to the masses, they are likely to find others who share it and can legitimize its support. Thus there can be a fan chorus of thought that begins in the internet world and slowly becomes the talking point of discussion, regardless of whether or not it is acknowledged by the mainstream media. To put it another way, in today’s fan environment one doesn’t need a newspaper, tv station or radio show to tell them what the major story is after a game, the fans themselves can decide it.

Since Saturday night’s disappointing loss to Florida, this fan/media dichotomy has clearly existed in the UK world. While the media focuses on missed opportunities, poor line play, Wide receiver drops and play calling, in some of the minds of fans only one topic matters: the conversation begins and ends with the situation at Quarterback. Walking (or in my case running to beat the traffic) out of Commonwealth Stadium, I heard multiple people complaining about UK’s Quarterback play and discussing (or in one case arguing) about whether a change should be made. The Twitterverse after the game erupted with calls for Drew Barker to get snaps and my post game show had a number of opinions that essentially asked, “how much longer of a lease should Patrick Towles get?” Whether it is discussion #1 in media write-ups of the game or in the preparation for Missouri, amongst the fans, Towles vs Barker is the only issue.

I find this relatively disheartening. First and foremost, the Quarterback always gets too much blame whenever a team loses. Because fans naturally follow the ball, their eyes stay on the Quarterback through virtually the entire offensive half of the game and his mistakes are always magnified in a way those of others never will be. If an Offensive Lineman is beaten off the line of scrimmage, a Wide Receiver misses his block or a Running Back doesn’t hit the right hole, hardcore Football fans may easily notice (standing next to Jared Lorenzen on the sideline has been a lesson in how natural that becomes to a former high level player), but the average fan is likely to miss it on first glance. But even the most casual fan knows when a Quarterback makes a bad decision and thus for Armchair experts, his play will always be the most critiqued. There is no doubt on Saturday that Patrick Towles did not have his best game. He missed open receivers, held onto the ball too long and made a couple of bad decisions that were crippling. But it can’t be overlooked that he also dealt with an offensive line that was beaten (often badly) off the line of scrimmage, had key throws dropped in crucial moments and too often was left on an island by other teammates who were struggling. Had Patrick played better, Kentucky would have won…but there are others on the team who could have had the same statement said about them as well.

Mark Stoops reaction to this on Monday was understandable and reassuring. He said that after losing one game by one possession, now was not the time to make a change at Quarterback. He noted that Patrick made mistakes, but he also made some good plays and remains the leader of the team. This is a rational viewpoint and one that I expected him to have. However there is a strong percentage of the fan base that holds the opposite view. For them, the Florida game represents the final proof that backup Drew Barker should be given a chance. It is an oft-quoted expression that the most popular player on the team is the backup quarterback. This is especially true when that backup is like Barker, a highly touted recruit with an exemplary high school career who has never showcased any of his weaknesses to the fan base on the college level. Whereas Kentucky fans are familiar with Patrick Towles, warts and all, Drew Barker is a clean slate, ready to come in and make no mistakes while leading the Cats to victory. Just as in 2013 when Jalen Whitlow struggled to lead a 2 win team and fans called my post game show every week to ask “Where is Towles?!?”, now the shoe is on the other foot and Towles is receiving the same questioning for a younger version of himself.

Fortunately for them, the “PLAY BARKER!” chorus doesn’t have to accept facts and reality yet. Theirs is a view clouded in the mystery of what Barker might be, rather than what he (or Patrick Towles) is. Unlike the coaches, staff, administration and players (all of whom see the Quarterbacks compete everyday), they are free to have their opinion stripped of that nuisance that can make arguments so much more difficult to maintain…facts. I am constantly amazed that fans don’t trust the judgment of the individuals who have the most incentive to play the best players, the coaches. Think about Mark Stoops for a second. His contract is set up where each victory pays him a substantial sum of money and each SEC victory over 2 is worth A LOT of money. So if he honestly believed that Drew Barker were the better option, don’t you think he would play him? A source close to the program told me yesterday, “look Patrick has to play better, but if Mark (Stoops) thought that Drew was the better option, he would be playing yesterday, regardless of his age or anything else.” This group WANTS TO WIN. It is their primary goal and when I have been around them, I am constantly amazed at how obsessed they are at making it happen. Their football judgment collectively is much better than mine and if they believe Towles is the best option (or if one day they believe Barker makes the most sense), I will trust their opinion over my own.

At this point, here is where I think the situation stands. Patrick will be the starter against Missouri but he needs to play well. The two-time defending SEC East Champion is vulnerable and the Cats are a favorite against a Top 25 team for the first time since 2007. For Kentucky to win however, Towles has to play well and if he does and UK gets the victory, the overall start puts Kentucky in a very good position. However if he plays poorly and the game goes South, causing two straight disappointing home losses, I think there is a good chance we might see a different situation for the EKU game. At that point, the coaches may believe that it is worth giving Barker some run, so as to see if they hope amongst many around the program (that he can be a “gamer” like Johnny Manziel, better under the bright lights than in practice) could be true. A bad Towles performance might lead to a situation where both play against Eastern and then the situation is reevaluated after. If the coaches go in this direction (and I think it is possible they could), that would make perfect sense to me.

But for now, Towles is the guy. No amount of fan grumbling or frustration will change that. He has talent and has the ability to play on a high enough level for UK to succeed. The UK coaches believe he puts the Cats in the best position to win Saturday and going forward…my hope is that the fans will give the coaches and Patrick the benefit of the doubt, and get behind that decision for the huge game Saturday against Missouri.

Article written by Matt Jones

125 Comments for The UK Conversation Most Fans are Having: Towles and Barker



  1. RUPPS_rhetoric
    1:51 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

    REESE PHILLIPS FTW!!!



  2. Redneck Cat Fan
    1:54 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

    Get outta hear, Matt, with all that since you’re making. Towels has got to go, or we end up 2-10. Just like last year.



    • SMH
      9:02 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

      “Quarterback always gets too much blame whenever a team loses”

      You’re absolutely right. We need to place more blame on the other players who overthrew and underthrew wide open receivers.



  3. Not Dan Issel
    1:57 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

    Auburn has just announced that they are replacing their QB with a redshirt freshman for their next game. If both Saban and Malzahn think it is appropriate to try someone else at the QB position, surely UK can do the same.



    • Yeah...
      1:58 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

      Auburn and Alabama also just suffered BRUTAL losses.



    • Blackdog
      2:02 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

      I was just saying the same thing I can’t imagine another high level coach letting a QB go over 6 qtrs. of play without a score. When its obvious that Towles is struggling let Barker come in and get some snaps whats the worst that can happen? Giving Barker a series or two might be the motivation Towles needs to get back going. Hell if nothing else the change in QB might throw the defense off enough for us to score. But for the love of UK try something different!



    • fatbrat
      3:12 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

      Towles has all the physical tools to be a SEC QB but what is going on in his head? He seems at times to be “Throwed Off” and like someone is “Swervin in his lane” either he gets the job done this week or let us find a new man for the job!



  4. ChicagoCat
    2:02 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

    Great post, Matt! Agree 100% with everything you said. Fans have got to put more faith in the coaches’ evaluation at this point. If Barker gave us a better opportunity to win right now, he would play. Pure and simple.



  5. Poppschmidty
    2:03 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

    Well,there some common sense for you. Towles will play this week, hopefully better. He needs his line to step up and his receivers to catch the balls that ARE thrown to them to make the plays to catch them. Can’t say the same for the bad throws he’s been tossing up lately, but the receivers are SEC talent that need to start playing like it.



  6. Lmaooooo
    2:03 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

    What an awful post. Afraid of upsetting your boy Lorenzen? Towles is not the guy to take this team to another level. Never was, never will be. He had 4 good games and everyone blew it out of proportion. Not a chance in hell this guy ever sees an NFL field. Would Barker be any better? Who knows. He sure as hell can’t be any worse, though. I’d rather see a redshirt freshman struggle and learn on the job than a redshirt junior who has shown ZERO improvement in 15 games.



    • Poppschmidty
      2:04 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

      Not a bad point about the age there…kudos.



    • theWilkman
      3:12 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

      Actually, he could be a LOT worse. At this point he is a complete unknown, and the only people who know what he can do are also the people that have the most incentive to get it right. If Towles plays badly again and the coaches look Barker’s way for EKU, so be it.



  7. FernCreekCat
    2:07 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

    Why is that the QB and the OL are the only positions where coaches and fans think the starters MUST play the whole game? All other positions are subbed in and out the entire game. This gives the starters a chance to watch what is happening while they are on the sidelines. Why can’t Towles start the game and if he proves ineffective in the first few series, then play Barker and let PT watch and see what’s going on. If Barker doesn’t work out, put PT back in.

    I know the argument about the starter needing all the reps with the first team during the week. Well, we’ve tried that, now give Barker a few reps with the first team and let Towles know the coaches are ready to try another option. Maybe that would motivate him.



    • Lineman62
      2:25 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

      Because subbing in and out doesn’t work for a position like QB. Your QB has to have time to adjust to the defense and get settled in to make reads and get into the flow of the game. Subbing QB’s out every series can be a offense killer. Receivers can’t get adjusted to the different QB styles, throw speeds, and its overall counterproductive. Remember when we changed QB’s like underwear a few years ago and didn’t have a settled starter going into the season? If memory serves we had an inefficient offense with a losing record.

      OL you can sub if you have the depth in place to do so. Depending on positional availability and whether there is a talent drop off.



  8. bbn4LIFE
    2:07 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

    Hey redneck, learn how to spell sense moron,btw we won 5 last year. The qb debate just proves how little uk football “fans” know about football. Stick to basketball since it’s a much simpler sport for the fanbase to understand. It starts with the o line. Hard to make progressions or even drop back when the line let’s defenders walk in every play. But everyone is right. If we make the switch to barker the receivers won’t drop passes anynore and the line will pancake every play. Smh. The fanbase is a joke.



    • Poppschmidty
      2:14 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

      Easy BBN4Life, this is newer to a good part of this fanbase because it grew so immensely ever since the Calipari era began. Give them time. They’ll come around.



    • theWilkman
      3:14 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

      I’m going out on a limb and saying “Redneck Cat Fan” was sarcasm.



    • CalvaryCatFan
      3:49 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

      Calling someone a moron when it’s OBVIOUS they are being sarcastic?! Who’s the joke now?



  9. kyjohn
    2:13 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

    Matt you’seem to have lost focus on what is going on with teamnd have become the main spokes person for Stoops and staff.

    What i’m seeing,hearing ,and reading are fans ,commentators,and columnists questioning the continual playing of a player who has questionable abilities and th lack of trying others in their place.Other teams seem to be more inclined to try others than UK .Spurrier and Petrino have each tried 3 different wbs’ as has other more successful programs around the country.At least these teams are trying to find a better combination this early in the season and this is what is so frustrating about Stoops and Dawson.They talk up the other players but seem bery reluctant to give them a chance .Then when their chosen one graduates or is injured,they come up with the same old tired excuse that they are having to rely on youth and inexperience.

    Florida is playing two quarterbacks that had no experience prior to this year and are 3 and 0.UK has a quarterback that is a fourth year player and has double digit starts and still,at time,plays like an inexperienced first year player leaving fans to wonder why.



    • Haha
      2:35 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

      UK is 2-1 and you said we should be looking at what coaches are doing on teams with a record of 0-3 and 1-2. Got any other great ideas?



    • TylerF
      2:37 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

      Good idea! Lets copy Spurrier and Petrino. I wish we were 1-2 or 0-3 too!



    • Captain Obvious
      2:43 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

      kyjohn is BigBluSoTru….. what a dumbass idiot.



  10. Allison
    2:15 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

    It’s the hair. Patrick’s hair has gotta go. We saw it with Willie in basketball. Shave your head, Patrick, for the good of the team!



  11. Concerned Fan
    2:16 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

    Can anybody verify this report? Kentucky football practice was delayed nearly two hours today after a player reported finding an unknown powdery substance on the field. The coaches immediately suspended practice and called the police and federal investigators. After a complete analyses the experts determined that the white substance unknown to the players was the GOAL LINE! Practice resumed after special agents decided the team was unlikely to encounter the substance again this year!



    • Mr. Dude
      2:20 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

      Ban!



    • Ha!
      2:23 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

      0-3, fucc boi



    • Elmer Skaggs
      2:29 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

      Everybody in my trailer park is behind Towels



    • Ha!
      2:32 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

      0-3, Elmer the fucc boi



    • Old And Lame Joke
      2:41 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

      As a Cowboys fan, I’ve heard that “joke” a thousand times. Zero points for creativity and trolling.



    • Lamar Jackson
      2:44 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

      I’m transferring, dawg.



  12. GAWildcat
    2:17 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

    You have to go what Stoops and staff are seeing in practice everyday. O line deserves some heat. UF ate them up Saturday night. However, Towles decision making seems a little too slow at times for SEC play. He needs to work on his foot work and throw it out of bounds instead of getting sacked so much. His longer passes are nice but he seems to have trouble with a pass that requires timing and zip. WR’s are getting blamed for dropping some balls, but some of his passes look like wounded ducks being shot out of a cannon. I think he has great heart. Keep fighting and beat Missouri!! Go Cats!!



  13. J-Dub421
    2:18 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

    Towels is horrible. He should transfer down to a D 2 school. His haircut may even be worse than his play.



    • Ha!
      2:23 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

      0-3, fucc boi



    • J-Dub421
      2:24 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

      Stop using my nom de guerre mullet



    • Air Raid
      2:37 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

      Sadly, we will likely lose to Loserville.



    • LOL
      2:42 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

      Uh. No.

      Did you see them against that shitty Auburn team? AND AGAINST HOUSTON???? LOLOLOLOLOLOLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!



    • Booby Petrino
      2:44 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

      Lol I don’t think anyone will lose to Louisville this year. They puttin up goose eggs in the win column.



    • J-Dub421
      12:30 am September 23, 2015 Permalink

      I have an avatar now. I love how obsessed you are with me though.



  14. Reluctant
    2:22 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

    We forget its all about the body of work. You cannot have a knee jerk reaction to one game. I love Patrick and it sucks to see him struggle, but in his last 10 games he is averaging 52% completion percentage, 196.8 yds per game, 1 TD and .9 INT resulting in a 3-7 record. This dates back to the Louisiana Monroe game last year. There is definitely something to say about the “team” aspect of these stats. The OL might be letting him down, the receivers are letting him down sometimes….sure. The biggest problem I see with Towles is his awareness in the pocket. He doesnt seem to have a good feel for the rush often times rolling out into pressure instead of stepping up in the pocket.

    I think he gets another game to rectify some mistakes and show progress, and he has quite a test against a tough mizzou defense. I think if he has a bad performance barker gets the call vs EKU



    • matt
      2:34 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

      4 of those losses were on the road (to good teams) and 2 were at home to ranked teams. You need to be careful when including last year’s numbers because PT’s playmakers were all freshman (Boom, Baker, Bone, Johnson)



    • Reluctant
      2:43 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

      Ironically, considering his playmakers were freshman, last years numbers were better than this years. There are circumstances to every play and every stat is different. Patrick has the tangibles as far as size and arm strength. But its hard to teach spatial awareness and thats where I think he is making his biggest mistakes.

      And yea the schedule was tough, but thats what it is every year.



  15. kyjohn
    2:22 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

    They should’play Derrick Willis ,or Dommoniqe Hawkins.Its evi dent from what Im hearing,reading,seeing that if Towels cant do it ,and neither can Barker ,then we need to play them boys. Matt you are hour spokes person on this.Make it happen.



  16. Double D
    2:23 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

    I really like Towles but it seems he has a problem with his accuracy on the short throw. I’m no football expert, but I trust the coaching staff and If you notice they call very few plays that require Towles to make a quick decision and make a short, accurate throw. He throws a beautiful deep ball but it seems like that is an entirely different animal that the quick, short throw. If Towles could make those throws, the coaches would call more quick slants, etc. that take advantage of all that speed we have at WR. Also, the fade pattern is another short, touch throw. How many of those do you see thrown. What really worries me is that I doubt Baker can make those throws either or he would have beaten out Towles. Again. I’m just looking at what plays the staff is calling.



    • CalvaryCatFan
      4:01 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

      Agree. The screen, qb draw, and quick passes is what we needed with Florida’s D line eating us up. Yet, there was no adjustment, or they just don’t trust Towles enough on the quick hitters. The play calling, lack of adjustments were much more frustrating than any of the players mistakes. IMO
      Also, I could care less who the QB is. I just want them to be successful.



  17. What all of you sound like
    2:25 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

    2-1 is unacceptable! If Barker was playing we would be 5-0 by now!!!!



  18. Elmer Skaggs
    2:27 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

    Drew should not play against EKU. They will have a bounty on him



    • Ha!
      2:31 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

      0-3, fucc boi… 😀



    • Elmer Skaggs IV
      2:34 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

      I agree Elmer. Also, I can’t help but wonder what will happen if Drew plays against EKU and kills it. Easy to excel against a bad team … we won’t have a suitable comparison for Drew and Patrick heading into the Auburn game. I just have flashbacks to the years of rotating QB’s (whitlow and smith if I’m not mistaken) and dread the thought of that happening again.



  19. Brennan
    2:31 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

    U mad, bro? 0-3, fucc boi.



  20. ChicagoCat
    2:32 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

    I’m interested to know what X’s and O’s you’ve seen from Drew Barker that lead you to this conclusion that Matt’s post was written in ignorance of football. Care to share?



  21. Real Talk
    2:35 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

    From all these comments from Fredde Jared and Matt, I have come to this assumption. Barker isn’t good at all.



  22. Cat man
    2:36 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

    You almost had me Matt until you got to the part of,” He has talent and has the ability to play on a high enough level for UK to succeed”….Unfortunately accuracy isn’t something Stoops or Dawson can teach him, he is a 4th year Junior, if he doesn’t have it by now he won’t. If the #1 team in the country doesn’t care to pull their QB in a game against Little Northern Illinois then UK shouldn’t be too good to try it either. We can blame the O-Line all we want but when he did have time he just didn’t produce. Like I said, 4th year Junior and still doesn’t have what it takes.



    • Le Docteur
      4:09 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

      This. Exactly this.



  23. HOWDY DOOOODY JONES
    2:38 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

    correction for spelling police——hear instead of here



  24. Pookie Jones
    2:39 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

    Play calling and O-line are the problem, not Towles.



    • Cat scat
      2:42 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

      Even when he has time to throw he is inaccurate, can’t blame O-line or Dawson for that. He’s not an sec QB.



    • Booby Petrino
      2:47 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

      Yeah like that opening td pass that hit Dorian baker in the stomach… Highly inaccurate. Moron.



    • cat scat
      2:55 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

      If that’s the only example you got, then you have just shown who is the moron. How about the one over Bone’s head, how the hell do you throw over his head? How about the others too high? Interception cause over throwing. get a clue before you post..



  25. Feral
    2:39 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

    Here is a fact. Towles has failed to complete 50% of his passes in 2 out of 3 games this year. That is beyond pathetic for an air raid quarterback. Would Barker be better? Who knows? At this point it can’t hurt to try, because if he fails to lead a scoring drive and completes less than 50% he still meets the status quo. At least at that point you’ve tried something different, and have 4 years to build upon a future with him.



    • Booby Petrino
      2:48 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

      I think the coaches know more than you. Where are you getting paid to coach these days?



    • Cat scat
      2:56 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

      Apparently they don’t



    • Smyrna_Cat
      3:00 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

      Feral is absolutely correct. And I love the coaches … but they need to make some adjustments if things are working. THAT is what they get paid for.

      As for the “where are you getting paid to coach these days” … this isn’t a coaching board. This is a fan board, and fans are allowed to share their thoughts … for free.



    • Thats Cool
      5:10 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

      And we can tell you when your thoughts are stupid…. also for free. 😉



  26. Jimbob Bautista
    2:39 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

    Matt is 100% correct…nice post.



    • Towles' Man Bun
      3:36 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

      100% opinion. Barker is an unknown variable so to ascertain that he has no value to add is ridiculous. It’s akin to saying, “It’s broke, but I better not even try to fix it because it works every now and then…”. Meyer, Saban, and a host of other elite coaches don’t mind pulling their top guy when he stinks it up. Stoops is not that guy.



    • 8 god
      4:17 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

      Meyer can move his All-American QB to wide receiver, then take out his starting QB, and still have a national championship winner under center. Moron.



  27. LOL
    2:40 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

    Hates Matt Jones, but visits his site and posts comments anyway. Fascinating. And Hilarious.

    Where do these dipshits come from…???



  28. HOWDY DOOOODY JONES
    2:49 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

    Check Patty Ice’s stats for the last 10 games. If Drew Barker is that bad, then we are in big trouble not only this year but also for the foreseeable future. Give Drew a few series on offense and if he is a legitimately worse than Patrick then most of the fanbase will shut up…including myself. We just aren’t going to move this program forward if we can’t have a quarterback that can’t produce on a consistent basis. Hell, maybe OC Dawson needs to change his game plan and let Patrick run more if he can’t make decisions fast enough. Also, how about CJ Conrad…seen him on a milk carton…missing involve the TE more. How about Boom and Jojo out of the backfield catching passes….don’t see many linebackers covering them. We have to simplify the decision making process for Patrick if he is to be successful….we can’t keep taking those sacks and making errant throws.



  29. C'Mon Man
    2:50 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

    I’d like to see you do any better. It’s so easy for you to sit behind a computer screen and critique him but I’d love to hear your analysis. Go ahead and type us a football report so we can truly get a feel for what’s going on.



  30. Rob
    2:53 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

    As a fan driven website, consider the concerns of the fans. Sacktric Towles is a good passer until he’s under pressure. He panics and is inaccurate. We saw this all of last season and so far it seems he’s on pace for a repeat performance this year. Is Barker better? Who knows. But consider Towles doesn’t get hit during practice so he probably looks incredible at practice. The fans want to know how Barker performs under game speed competition. True, we don’t know if Barker is better but you can’t say for certain that he won’t be. It really bothers me that you have two spent days defending Towles while putting down Barker. That can’t be good for Barker or team cohesion. As far as trusting the coaches, I don’t know if Dawson is a good coach. I certainly hope so. I like him so far and want him to succeed. But I really don’t know him and this is his first season as sole offensive coach. He really hasn’t strengthened my confidence so far. You even admitted his calls we’re highly questionable. So how can I have complete trust in him? I’m not arguing Barker is our guy. I just want you to give the fans a break. Remember, you kept saying Stoops’ third year was going to be the year to watch? We all hope so. But don’t attack us if & when we get a little worried. If Towles keeps playing the way he is playing, a bowl game is doubtful again this year.



  31. RICK
    2:57 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

    whom ever the Quarterback is, throw to the tight ends. Go Patrick and GO BIG BLUE



  32. HOWDY DOOOODY JONES
    2:57 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

    C’mon Man, I made a couple of comments above about what I would like to see out of the offense…feel free to disagree or agree. I love Matt’s basketball analysis which is his element definitely…..football not so much so.



  33. Smyrna_Cat
    2:57 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

    Only at Kentucky is it totally unacceptable to not be happy when your team hasn’t scored a TD in 6 quarters, and your QB goes 8-24. Those are horrible numbers anyway you look at it. When things aren’t working, you adjust your game plan to emphasis your strengths and minimize your weaknesses.

    And since when did Florida become so unbeatable? East Carolina put up 24 against them … or you telling me that EC has THAT much more talent that UK? That there QB is THAT much more talented than Patrick? Or was it that they played to their strengths, moved the defense around, and didn’t take 5-step drops time after time when there is no time to throw?

    Don’t get me wrong, I love what Stoops is doing and have been a die-hard UK fan for longer than many of you have been alive. Don’t call me a “fair weather fan” because I was there during one losing team after another. I will go to every game I can, keep buying BBN gear, and root as loudly as I can. But don’t tell me 8-24 is okay, and don’t tell me that our offensive can’t be a little bit more creative to make up for the lack of talent. (And on a side note, why not have Patrick run a time or two? That helps. And how about a wildcat a couple of plays? And when you go 5 series and gain a total of 11 yards, why do you do the same thing for the 6th series?)



    • theSkinny81
      5:27 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

      Florida was not playing at full strength against ECU, and they still won regardless.

      Its foolish to compare teams in this way. Would you say that Jacksonville State should be ranked 6th in the nation because they took Auburn to overtime? Is Louisville all that great because they kept it close against Clemson, or horrible still lost in horrible fashion to Auburn and Houston?



  34. Kenny Hill
    2:58 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

    I beat out Kyle Allen at Texas A&M at the start of the season last year because I was “better” in practice. How did that turn out?



  35. Mc
    3:07 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

    If you’re O-line can’t contain a rush, why not run more screens, draws, and quick hitters to keep the front 6 or 7 on their heels and set up plays down the field at that point? If you can’t complete a quick hitter in this offense, you’re not the right fit.

    Also, if the line play is poor, which QB runs better and can offset the poor line play?



    • CalvaryCatFan
      4:14 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

      ^ This ^



    • Smyrna_Cat
      5:09 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

      Double this!



  36. No TD's
    3:09 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

    ECU put up 350 yards in the air against florida, we didn’t have 350 total yards but we shouldn’t be worried, concerned, or mad that Towles is still the starting QB? He’s a 4th year junior and this doesn’t concern the coaches or the great Matt? LOL. So what if Towles looked better than Barker in practice, put him in a game situation and he may look better than Towles under pressure. You just never know..But it’s safe to say as long as UK is babying Towles and his hair that UK will not see a winning season. Something else must be going on to prevent Barker from playing.



  37. RICK
    3:15 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

    Matt , You do know that a lot of these post on here are from Louisville fans trying to cause trouble because Ky fans are way to smart to post a lot of this crap.



    • Jamba Juice
      3:34 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

      No, I doubt it. Maybe one or two. I think many are just mad, in general. And especially at Matt, because he’s more of a mouthpiece for UK than anything, these days. It’s OK to question things, if there’s a problem. And Towles’ play is a problem. The numbers don’t lie. They don’t. They just don’t. Last week, Matt was feeding the hype machine with Grove Street Party and urging others to celebrate before we had won. That didn’t happen, and several people are calling him out on it.



    • Thats Cool
      5:12 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

      Its illegal to be optimistic prior to the game, I see.



    • Jesus Effin' Facepalming Christ
      5:58 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

      “Last week, Matt was feeding the hype machine with Grove Street Party and urging others to celebrate before we had won. That didn’t happen, and several people are calling him out on it.”

      That may be the dumbest shit I’ve read all day. Kudos.

      That’s YOUR FAULT for celebrating before we played. Matt was just feeling optimistic, like me, and most everyone else. But to act like we won before it even began IS ON YOU.

      VEGAS HAD FLORIDA WINNING THAT GAME.



    • Ramon
      8:57 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

      Um, Jesus, you are effing stupid. He was saying that MATT and LSR were the ones celebrating the win last week. Jesus, you are a stupid mofo.



  38. Dwayne
    3:20 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

    “He has talent and has the ability to play on a high enough level for UK to succeed” ???

    What’s his signature win? A declining South Carolina this year? We had to run the wildcat last year with JoJo Kemp to beat them! Your statement really lacks foundation. In fact his #’s are more consistent with the notion that he doesn’t possess the ability to lead this team to the next level!



  39. theWilkman
    3:26 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

    HOWDY – you’re the exact type of arm chair QB fan Matt was talking about in his post, so your opinion on Matt’s analysis means nothing. You praise Freddie for his opinion, and all Matt did was echo Freddie’s thoughts in his own words.



  40. 8 god
    3:31 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

    You people need to get a life. You are putting your armchair QB analysis over the evaluations of the people who get paid to choose a quarterback. As Matt astutely noted, WE HAVE NEVER SEEN BARKER PLAY IN COLLEGE. By some of you people’s logic, the fanbase just deserves a chance to confirm that Towles should be playing and not Barker. Well, sorry for the reality check but this is the SEC. Fan scrutiny doesn’t matter. As long as the AD is on board with Towles, he will play.

    Also. Let’s acknowledge that if Towles’ receivers would have caught the passes thrown their way and Dawson’s red zone playcalling had been anything besides tailback dives, he would have racked up at least two touchdowns and probably 100 more yards, with a higher completion percentage and one fewer interception.



    • Le Docteur
      7:34 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

      Let’s acknowledge that if we had eggs we could have bacon and eggs, if we had bacon. Is it possible, Professor, that YOU could be more inconsistent? You yell at people to trust “the evaluations of the people who get paid to choose a quarterback” and then you say Towles would have been Aaron Freakin’ Rogers if “Dawson’s red zone playcalling had been anything besides tailback dives.” Which is it angry boy? Is it just possible that the reason Dawson called tailback dives one after another near the goal line because he didn’t trust your beloved starting QB to have the necessary accuracy to pass at the goal line? And maybe you can explain how Blake Bone or Manute Bol could have caught that one pass in the endzone? Think maybe that horrific pass may have influenced Dawson’s play-calling the next time we were in the red zone? . . . I’m waiting for your clever retort, like “GET A LIFE.”



    • WildFan
      9:39 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

      Exactly…. “if we had bacon.”

      Trust the coaches that make the decision to start Towles then criticize the play calling of the same coaches. Can’t be both ways. The fact is that Towles has not been effective. My opinion is that he is not SEC caliber. I have no opinion on Drew Barker because I have never seen him play in an actual game. I have read of the coaches raving about him during camp and read about his elite level coming out of high school and participating in camps and competitions among other elite young QBs. It appears to me that if Barker isn’t the answer then we simply don’t have an answer because Towles have proven he is not capable.



  41. CALLITLIKEITIS
    3:35 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

    Interesting topic.

    As a NKY resident and HUGE CAT FAN, I feel quite strongly that Patrick Towles strengths are NOT being utilized 100%. There have been numerous times in three games where Patrick Towles could have broken off a long run if permitted to fake hand-off to BOOM and a roll out. Unfortunately, our Offensive Coordinator, Dawson, has yet to let Patrick RUN: with the exception of the T.D. before half time against USC.

    Against Florida, Patrick ran for a 38 yard gain, but only did so after his receivers were covered and HE decided to do so. Furthermore, lets not forget that Patrick Towles was a running and passing QB in High School, and ran an awful lot last year.

    PERHAPS…and I say this suggestively, PERHAPS Patrick Towles would be a much more efficient PASSER, IF HE WERE PERMITTED TO RUN WITH THE BALL too??

    I enjoy Drew Barker, but feel it is far too early to doubt PATTY ICE. HIS BIG GAME will be next week. It’s coming so get ready to put this type of “talk to rest”.

    GO BIG BLUE



    • inside info2
      4:07 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

      You could be partially correct, that if he was allowed to run it may change the way the defense plays. However, PT has had several chances with wide open receivers and blown it –both short and long passes. Yes, there have been a couple of dropped passes, but those have been few and his way off the mark passing has been many.

      They may not be letting him run so he doesn’t get injured. That would lead me to believe that Barker is much worse than the staff let on during the competition. If that’s the case we are screwed. And I don’t think our 3rd string QB is 100% yet either.

      The coaching staff keeps plenty of information from the fans, press, and even Matt Jones whether he wants to believe it or not. Towels had a hand or knee injury, I can’t remember which, and the staff kept it from everyone. Matt is too close to the staff in both basketball and football to be objective. He is becoming more and more of a mouthpiece for them. It’s a shame because the quality of the site has suffered.



  42. Yoda
    3:50 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

    That’s a mighty high horse you’re sittin’ on Matt. Amazing how you talk about how “close” Barker and Towles are in preseason competition and practice, and then the season rolls around and it’s all “WE MUST TRUST THE COACHES!!!”. No, the coaches actually haven’t given us much to trust, other than that we will be disappointed. It’s truly insane to say that we have to stick with Towles simply because we don’t know what Barker could do in a game. The question is, why not? The answer to that, self evident.



    • theWilkman
      3:55 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

      What do you mean, “the coaches actually haven’t given us much to trust, other than that we will be disappointed”? We should be disappointed in a wholesale overhaul of the talent level of the program and a 2-1 start? Fans like you are the worst sort. To be where we are in 3 short years is as impressive a turn around as you’ll see in NCAA football. The goal going into this season in every logical fans mind was 6 wins and a bowl. We are on track for that. If you got your hopes up thinking we’d win 8 or 9 after the first 2, well that’s on you.



    • Dude
      5:14 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

      Wilkman absolutely nailed it.

      Yoda is unbearable.



  43. Andy
    3:50 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

    Matt, Towles also has had 3 years to correct his accuracy issues and attended QB school in the off season only to misfire a td pass yo Blake Bone. This has always been his issue and the coaches have harped on his mission fires and being in consistent.



    • 8 god
      4:21 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

      Only to throw an opening drive touchdown pass that was dropped.*

      And the entire stadium knew the ball was going to Bone. Can’t be surprised he put it out of reach.



    • Kyblue34
      5:42 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

      Baker probably dropped the pass because he was in shock that Towles actually delivered it accurately. I would’ve been….



  44. J-Dub421
    3:51 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

    I ate a big bag of steamed vegetables for lunch. I just cleaned out my colon in my work bathroom. Feel sorry for anyone who goes in there in the next 30 minutes. Peeled the paint off the walls.



    • Troll Slayer
      8:34 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

      Troll….



    • J-Dub421
      12:47 am September 23, 2015 Permalink

      Good lord, get a hobby and stop obsessing over me. You’re embarrassing yourself.



  45. Unremarkable Post
    3:53 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

    Towles is playing tentative, too scared to make a mistake then is momentarily paralyzed. He needs to dig down in his DNA and channel some of his grandfather’s nastiness. Demonstrate the QB equivalent of owning the inside part of the plate.



  46. Daniel
    4:03 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

    So Matt I guess it’s a lose/lose situation for you! You can believe we will win a game and get crushed for fueling the hype or you can be “realistic” and get crushed for not believing in our team.

    When I first started listening you said “UK football will never win the SEC championship” and people acted like you said Mary wasn’t a virgin.

    I don’t blame you for entertaining the thought of getting out of this business, I’m not sure this behavior won’t follow you though. Good Luck!



  47. UKfanNKY
    4:16 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

    Sorry but I’m ready for a change! Towles do not look comfortable, he’s slow on his feet and he could have stepped up a couple of times to avoid the sack. He seems slow to react and to me stares down his receiver to much. He plays as if he’s not having fun and scared imo.

    Lets try some new blood who knows maybe it will wake Towles and the others up!!

    GO CATS!!!



  48. AJH
    4:17 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

    He gets one more chance in my opinion. One more game. He needs to go out and lead this team to a win against Missouri. Whatever he has to do to make that happen. Bottom line.



  49. Mr. Mojo
    4:24 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

    Whose website is this? Seems to me Matt should post whatever he likes. It’s pretty brassy to tell a guy to stop posting on his own site.



  50. Smyrna_Cat
    5:12 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

    Maybe we need Eastern Carolina’s QB. He is 5-star, right?



  51. Dude
    5:29 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

    ^^THIS.

    I wish HOWDY would start his own site, so I won’t visit it.

    Along with the other 99.9999% of BBN.



  52. Tej
    5:46 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

    What can Coach Stoops, Coach Dawson, and the other offensive coaches know about who should be our qb when all they do is see these guys every day in practice, watch the videos of practices for the last few weeks, and evaluate players constantly? I guess it makes good sense to value the opinions of posters who aren’t privy to this information.



    • Dude
      5:53 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

      You win the internet today, sir. +1,000,000



    • Kyblue34
      6:11 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

      That’s kind of the point some of us are making, though. I’m sure Towles looks like an All-American in practice, but he looks scared to death and slow to make decisions when playing actual games. The opposite is also true and some players don’t practice well but thrive when the lights come on and they are under pressure – JD Harmon has been a good example of that. We already know that Towles wilts under pressure, so what’s wrong with giving Barker at least a chance to see how he does? If Barker ends up doing worse, there’s no rule that says you can’t bring Towles right back in! I don’t give a damn who looks better in practice, and that should not be the overriding factor on who plays. Several teams this year have already went to their 2nd and 3rd string QBs – some teams have been helped and some have been hurt. But, you’ll never know unless you try.



    • Logical
      6:17 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

      Yeah, then they throw Drew in, and he throws a pick-6 in his third play. Now, we’re in the hole against a team who has great defense, and yet we are favored in a game we need at home. I’m sure it’ll do wonders for both Pat and Drew’s confidence as well.

      I’ll trust the coaches.



    • Kyblue34
      7:20 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

      Why would you assume Drew would throw a pick six? Pat has already come close to throwing a couple himself. So, he gets a pass for that? What’s your solution then if Pat struggles yet again against Mizzou? Or down the road, if Towles gets injured, then you want to put a QB in who hasn’t even taken a meaningful snap? Barker should have gotten playing time in all three games when Towles was clearly struggling. Don’t give me that confidence garbage, if Pat can’t handle being on the sidelines for few series or a quarter, then he doesn’t deserve to be on the team. Even Meyer and Saban have played multiple quarterbacks this season, and they had a lot more at stake than we had. Were they worried about confidence issues? No, they were trying to win games, which is what we should be doing!



  53. Don Kean
    6:14 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

    Lets face it. Last year our schedule was solidly front loaded with the easier teams in the first six, thus the 5-1 start. The last six were all tough games. Missouri and Louisville were better last year than they are this year, maybe even much better. Mississippi State was better last year than this year. Tennessee was playing very well by the time we played them late in the year. Then their was LSU and Georgia. We played well and fresher in through the easier schedule. Then when we got to the final six games last year the defenses were much better and our offensive production went down. This years schedule is more spread out. With our remaining schedule I see three likely (not sure thing) wins. I see three outside shots against Auburn, Tennessee, and especially Georgia. That leaves three games this year that will be basically pick em, Louisville, Miss State and Missouri. Win one of those three and the three likely ones and we go bowling, which should be a reasonable expectation at this juncture in our program. It would be a solid accomplishment. Less than 6-6 would be a disappointment for this team there is no doubt. Also, I was very optimistic that we had a shot at the Gators this year. They are down in talent somewhat by Florida standards but they are still MILES ahead of us in terms of raw talent. We have roughly 12-15, 4 star players on our roster. They get that many per class. Their starting defense had three or four, 5 star players and numerous 4 stars. Their talent and experience shined, especially down in the trenches Saturday night. IT WAS THE DIFFERENCE IN THE GAME. Pure talent does matter. We are closing the gap somewhat and we will get better. I found it borderline insane that people were saying last week that we had more talent than Florida. For every single four star talent that we have, they have three to four and a few 5 stars sprinkled in. There is no question that good coaches can do more with less talent and bad coaches can marginalize good talent, but raw God given talent cures a whole lot of woes. If that were not true then John Calipari would have a very so so record in basketball. UK football likely has more raw talent in the program than we have had in history and we are adding to it yearly with this staffs stellar recruiting efforts. Lets not panic yet. Rome was not built in a day and UK football will not be either. Go Big Blue.



  54. Bill Raftery
    6:55 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

    Ponder this: The QB race was so close in the preseason that the staff couldn’t name a starter until close to opening game. As I recall, it could go either way….both were doing some awfully good things therefore neither could really distance himself from the other.

    Now, here we are three games into the season and Towlles who was named the starter is playing at a totally ineffective level. However, the guy that pushed him in a tight QB race throughout the fall….well, he is now light years behind. In one way or another, this is a crock! Either Barker is a totally inept QB, in which case he should never have been allowed to take valuable first string snaps throughout the fall; or, the coaches refuse to give Barker a chance after espousing that he was in an extremely tight QB race with Towles.

    Which is it?

    Is Barker totally inept…..and accordingly the fans were sold a bill of BS?
    OR….does Towles have a picture of someone with a goat?



    • Kyblue34
      7:23 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

      Good points that I totally agree with. At a minimum, they should both have been given playing time in the past three games.



  55. Bill Raftery
    6:57 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

    OH! Almost forgot.
    ONIONS !



  56. JTabb
    6:57 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

    Patrick’s biggest flaw and has been all season to this point is, he’s leaving the ball to high on almost every pass. Look at the passes, caught or missed. They are high, it appears he knows his receivers are tall so he’s throwing the ball higher, there in itself is your problem. I also think he is really lacking confidence, for whatever reason that may be. You can’t leave your receivers out to dry and expect them to keep catching the ball.



  57. jimlowe7
    7:02 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

    TWO THINGS: (1) I believe there is NOT any sizable percentage of UK fans wanting Barker to START but just to have a couple of series each game to SEE WITH THEIR OWN EYES what he can do, and (2) part of that desire from the fans is rooted in the VERY CONSERVATIVE nature of coaches to risk upsetting the emotional “status quo” of starting QB’s by replacing them SOONER rather than LATER.



    • Bill Raftery's Personal Vallet
      7:05 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

      Onions !



  58. The Charman of the Board says...
    7:56 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

    Towles problems are still the same. He locks on to ONE guy and never gets off of him. Everyone can see it and I guarantee you any respectable D coordinator knows it. On the one play that Conrad left the backfield near the goal line he had his man clearly beat by a step or more. Instead of looking there he lofted the ball over the receivers head out of the endzone. I reall like the kid but until he looks off of one guy, we’ll never beat good football teams.



  59. Kieth Jackson
    7:59 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

    Whoa Nellie, hold on!
    Our offense is not that great, and it will take a couple of huge games to get us out of the statistical dog house.
    The good thing, is we have that opportunity before us, in the next few games. We don’t get it done there, then that will answer many of the questions for this team, for this season.
    Here is the thing, and really, it is simply this; the only statistic that matters is wins versus losses.
    Right now we are better than many teams in that statistic, albeit a good argument on the quality of the opponent. Whatever.
    The real task is to be better than last year by season’s end. We may well be. But if the offense doesn’t start playing better soon, playing much better soon, 5-7 might be where we end, and that may be a gift.
    I think we are better than that. If we are not, there is nothing I can do to fix it, and neither can you. Just understand; It is, what it is. Buy the tickets, support the program, just don’t expect anything but what we get on Saturday, and make the best of it.
    Hope like hell we win, but if we don’t, it is not like we have not been there before, right?
    GBB.



  60. NStewart
    8:34 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

    Wow I had a 7 hr drive today & it looks like I missed all the fun. It’s ridiculous how the majority of these posts are negative. I have been a UK fan for many years now. Stoops has got us to a level that I have not witnessed at UK. Recruiting is at the highest level it’s ever been. I for one trust that Stoops & Dawson will make the best decision when it comes to the QB. Get on board or get the F off you bunch of idiots.



  61. W.C
    9:17 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

    just read Sec stats after 3 Games Towles in next to last in percentage of completions with Mauk dead last one percentage point less! We think Mauk is their weakest point and I think they think Towles is our biggest weakness! What a shame since our receivers backs and all are speedy, but you have to get them the ball. Towles is now 2 wins 7 losses as starting QB seems quite a length of time to prove self. If the QB race was as close as we were lead to believe then what’s the since in Barker staying off field while Towles struggles? A spark is what we need!!



  62. country
    9:35 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

    funny how everyone was mad cause barker got in trouble over some not so serious stuff. saying he should be kicked off the team. now fans are dying to get barker on the field.. sh** barker might be ready to transfer by the end of the season… ive been all for barker starting every since he came to uk. but alot of fans was like yea redshirt barker blah blah.. Well who says he wants to sit behind Towles half his career. yall better hope he gets his chance soon. Cause if not his chance will be somewhere else.. n ill say it again. Never was there ever a QB competition in practice. Towles was always the guy because he had been there longer…



  63. Wise Guy
    10:37 pm September 22, 2015 Permalink

    So, maybe it’s been said on here already but my question is more about alignment than the QB. The root cause is pressure on the QB. Two of our worst plays this year are because Swindle has been beaten by a faster DT. Why not negate that pressure with a swing pass? Get your RBs one-on-one with that LB. I think I’ve seen 1-2 of those this year. How about a good old TE lined up beside the tackle to help with the rush? Or, maybe have that TE go out for a pass in the middle behind the linebackers, thus making them stay at home. Of course, that would also require a safety to honor the middle of the field, thus opening up the faster receivers streaking down the sideline. How about a reverse here or there to take advantage of an aggressive defense? Afterall, they are rushing through out line like a flooding stream. What about a screen pass? Not that bubble screen crap but a good old screen like they run in the NFL where the defense is fast as lightening. Do we not run these types of plays because we don’t call them? Or, do we not run these types of plays b/c our QB fails to check into them? Only the coaches know the answer to this. If the former, shame on our coaches. If the later, we probably need a QB change b/c an SEC QB should know how to do this.