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Towles Could Make UK Job More Desirable


It was debatable whether or not Kentucky should have ever pulled Patrick Towles’ redshirt. Playing the most heralded recruit on the roster vs. Mississippi State with a 1-4 record didn’t make much sense unless you felt there was still a chance of turning the season around drastically enough to make a bowl, or if you’re strictly concerned with putting butts in the seats and regaining the excitement of the UK fan base. Lastly, if you’re 100% behind Joker Phillips and feel that showing-off what Towles can do was essential for keeping the head coach around past this season, you may have also supported the decision to lift his redshirt.

If you are like most of the UK fan base, you didn’t think Towles would be able to take a 1-4 team to a bowl game and you feel that it is too late for Joker to do anything to keep his job past the end of the season. That is how most of Big Blue Nation felt. Nevertheless, many fans still seemed to support the use of Towles, perhaps, simply because they were desperately looking for something to be excited about.

Patrick Towles did get the fan-base excited–we were excited for a whopping 4 minutes and 34 seconds. That was the length of Towles’ TD drive in which he completed 5-of-5 passes and led the offense 80 yards down the field for a TD, and made it look easy.

Then, Towles handed the ball off three times in his next drive, a three-and-out. On the first play of his third and final drive, Towles sprained his ankle while being sacked for a 12-yard loss and did not return.

The injury isn’t believed to be too serious, but if Patrick isn’t used in the remainder of the season, he can use a medical redshirt. Perhaps, what happened on Saturday was the best outcome that could have possibly happened for Towles and for the program. He wasn’t in for long, but in the limited action he saw, Towles gave us a glimpse (and gave others a glimpse) of what he can do in the future vs. a quality SEC opponent. We saw a glimpse of Patrick Towles in an SEC game, liked what we saw, and he can still be saved for the future with a medical redshirt just as long as he is not used again in the second half of the season.

With so many true freshman and sophomores playing major minutes and doing positive things while not getting injured, you’d have to think that’s a positive thing for the program no matter who the coach is next season and in the near future. Whether you want Joker Phillips gone or you want him back, what we saw from Patrick Towles on Saturday is something to be excited about. The few Joker supporters who may still remain will point to the youth and say that Joker needs a chance to coach these guys when experienced and healthy.

For the majority of the fan base who have already set their sights on a new coach next season, the glimpse we saw Saturday of Patrick Towles is also reason to celebrate. If a prospective new coach does his homework, researches the current UK roster, and can see what the program has in Patrick Towles and others, you would think the UK job is a more attractive one because of what is there in the freshman and sophomore classes.

If or when the time comes, Mitch Barnhart should swing for the fences and send the 4 minute and 34 second tape of Towles effortlessly leading Kentucky 80 yards down the field for a TD to all prospective head coaches. Along with that tape, Barnhart should send more tapes of Towles’ ridiculous senior season at Fort Thomas Highlands in which he threw 42 TD’s and only 1 INT as the 9th ranked QB prospect in the country according to Rivals. If Barnhart can sell the idea that UK can win in the near future in America’s top football conference, and that Towles is a can’t miss prospect destined for success with the right direction and parts around him, could this be a chance for Kentucky to bring in the high-level coach UK fans have been waiting so long for?



Article written by John Wilmhoff

Former beer vendor, college mascot and ESPN editor. This spring, you can also find me blogging about the Reds on Follow me on Twitter: @JohnWilmhoff

36 Comments for Towles Could Make UK Job More Desirable

  1. Nah
    9:34 pm October 7, 2012 Permalink

    Not sure one morsel of quality is enough to entice the interest your talking about. If I saw a piece of filet smushed in a bowl of Alpo, it wouldn’t want me to pick up a fork, but just wonder how that got in there.

  2. jnc2
    9:35 pm October 7, 2012 Permalink

    In the end it won’t matter. It’s sad, but true.

  3. UKBlue1!
    9:39 pm October 7, 2012 Permalink

    Barnhart needs to go.

  4. UK Snuggie
    9:51 pm October 7, 2012 Permalink

    It isn’t difficult to see where this writer would like to see Joker next year.

  5. roharmon
    9:52 pm October 7, 2012 Permalink

    I hope they at least make an offer to John Chavis

  6. Jj
    10:01 pm October 7, 2012 Permalink

    Thank God for writers like this, not afraid of Mitch

  7. Where
    10:04 pm October 7, 2012 Permalink

    Where’s the Cutcliffe post?

  8. danthecat
    10:11 pm October 7, 2012 Permalink

    He would be like putty in Bobby Perrino’s hands…Match perfectly

  9. LOL
    10:12 pm October 7, 2012 Permalink

    @ #5 I hope they offer Nick Saban

  10. Mitch
    10:15 pm October 7, 2012 Permalink

    Joker gets one more year, my friends!

  11. Turner the Burner
    10:21 pm October 7, 2012 Permalink

    Towles did okay… His passes were not that good and his receivers picked a couple of balls of the top of their cleats. Also the TD pass was well under thrown. Luckily King’s mam fell or it would have been a jump ball. While I like Towles’ potential… I am not ready to crown him yet.

  12. Jerry
    10:21 pm October 7, 2012 Permalink

    The UK football fans should wear brown paper bags over their heads at the next home game. That will show Mitch!

  13. Mitch's Thoughts
    10:28 pm October 7, 2012 Permalink

    I keep Joker for next year, he starts 2-1, then the fanbase hops back on him like MJP

  14. pioneer
    10:36 pm October 7, 2012 Permalink

    #11 I agree with everything you said, except that Patty Ice looked better than any QB has looked at Uk since Dre. I will not crown him anything since he is a frosh, but he had more command of the offense and the field in his 3 series than Newton or Smith has had their entire career at UK thus far. He is no doubt the future of the position at UK. I love the athleticism of Whitlow, but either move him to WR or create the token “wildcat” package for him and let him come in for a new wrinkle. For crying out loud, he didnt even start QB for his state champion high school team, they used him as their designated RUNNING QB. Then again, I am prolly completely wrong, because Joker and the staff obviously see something I cannot.

  15. FakeArtStill
    10:36 pm October 7, 2012 Permalink

    #11 is dead on. #10 is dead wrong. Joker will be gone, Sanders is gone but the allot of the staff may stay. New coach can keep Minter or he may hire Gene Chizik once he is let go by Auburn to run the defense. If the new coach that is hired is a spread or zone read guy then the Towles will be out and Whitlow will be the guy.

  16. Rixter
    10:54 pm October 7, 2012 Permalink

    Don’t know about that, but he could make the team trainer position more desirable

  17. Head Bussa
    10:54 pm October 7, 2012 Permalink

    15 – You are dead wrong. Towles will not sit behind Whitlow when he’s healthy ever again.

  18. huck
    10:55 pm October 7, 2012 Permalink

    LOL, yea, we want a coach that is a master mind of the game and you gonna send a highlight clip to trick/ fool/ manipulate a great coach in here, with a sales job… ps most great coaches will know about UK football – what ever it is.

    It seems to me that either: no one at UK knows how to put a team on the field or they are going to filet the SEC cash cow for other things and con the UK community, pretending that they are trying hard.

    I don’t understand the redshirt issue at all. It is “amateur” sports, they say – think towards everyone gets a chance to play type teams, rather than the bottom line. UK gets paid no matter what they put on the field. All football teams need more than one qb – UK has about run out of them and seemingly need some more. I have seen UK pull redshirts in the last game or two for insignificant minutes and only a couple plays. If you nuts want to look at it as a business – the business has to run, every day – all day.

    Removing the redshirt has no bearing what so ever, compared to the top teams, UK will suck during all his time here, no matter who the coach and what they do. For the idiots, it takes several years and lots of top recruits to become a SEC contender. There is no way, under any circumstance, that UK is going to recruit in 50+ players that are strong and good enough to compete in the SEC in a couple of years. It will take time with lots of things going right. I think this is Spurrier’s 8th year at USC.

  19. Head Bussa
    10:55 pm October 7, 2012 Permalink

    15 — Again, you are dead wrong. Gene Chizik? HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

  20. LOD memeber
    11:04 pm October 7, 2012 Permalink

    David Cutcliffe? Really Matt? What a joke. Mitch ia just trying to hire one of his friends like he did with Brooks.

  21. dgtuk
    12:06 am October 8, 2012 Permalink

    Pretty tired of everyone lamenting the “choice” to remove the redshirt on Patrick Towles. Since it is obvious that Morgan Newton can’t play the position at ALL….with the injury to Max and 5 plus games to go there was no decision….

    Whitlow is OK but you have to have a serviceable replacement which Newton is not. Any sensible coach would remove the redshirt so his team could compete on at least some basic level. The same people criticizing this decision would have a fit if we were/are down to Morgan Newton for the rest of the season with Towles sitting out as an un-injured redshirt. Add to that that we might as well find out if Towles can play…the sooner the better.

    It really wasn’t even a hard call. Now with his injury we will see but prior to the injury not even a question.

  22. Brum
    1:50 am October 8, 2012 Permalink

    His redshirt should have never been taken off. if we have to play Newton then let it be. towels can not save this season. We possibly score more points in these games we lose with him playing but the outcome will be the same it will be a shame if he goes in again and wastes a year on this hopeless season

  23. WOW
    2:07 am October 8, 2012 Permalink


  24. Wildcatsteeler
    2:50 am October 8, 2012 Permalink

    This isn’t a program where you can afford to redshirt potential talent. He should have been battling the entire season for backup and gotten plenty of snaps by this point. Joker isn’t a good coach and I was incredibly disappointed when they named him coach-in-waiting. I didn’t even think he was a good offensive coordinator.

  25. Big Whoop
    3:41 am October 8, 2012 Permalink

    If you want to get rid of Mitch, fine. However, Mitch isn’t the problem. His hands are tied.
    The problem is and always has been the UK Board of Trustees. Now, you can add Eli to the list.

    Joker will be given a pass because of the QB situation.

  26. BigBluSoTru
    6:05 am October 8, 2012 Permalink

    if towles was this great player he would have at the least been the backup Qb from the start not reshirting.

  27. putinrichie
    6:23 am October 8, 2012 Permalink

    22 – I agree. I thought he should have been redshirted all along unless we made Towles the starter Day One. If he is going to miss any more games than they need to just put the medical redshirt on him. If they are going to play him, he should be taking at least 90% of the snaps the rest of the season to make burning the scholarship worth it.

  28. Cooter92
    7:40 am October 8, 2012 Permalink

    Joker lost me @ not giving Randell Cobb the damn ball. It doesn’t matter how much talent you have if you have already proven that you don’t know how or aren’t willing to use it.

  29. BlueCat
    8:54 am October 8, 2012 Permalink

    Using Towles in a year when 3 wins is expecting a lot makes absolutely no sense. Having him that extra year is smarter. Typical Joker move.

  30. SteveM
    8:57 am October 8, 2012 Permalink

    UK will never be an attractive coaching destination as long as Barnhart is the AD. His lack of commitment to the football goes far beyond hiring an incompetent coach. Until major facility upgrades are made UK will never be anything but a 2nd tier program with little hope of achieving anything of value.

  31. paducahfan
    9:15 am October 8, 2012 Permalink

    The UK job will draw interest because it pays well (better than it probably should). If Joker stays, they will lose another 25% of their season ticket holders. I have spoken to at least 5 folks from Louisville who don’t plan to renew. These are people who have bought tickets for years and they have had enough. Season ticket holders from Western Kentucky are also tired of driving the Lexington and seeing nothing when they get there. Only an extraordinary hire will change this.

  32. UK Fan
    10:01 am October 8, 2012 Permalink

    People need to undersatnad that the failure of the UK football program goes far beyond our current coaching miseries. Barnhart has allowed the football program to decline to such an extent that no self-respecting coach with any kind of future would want to come here. Worst facilities in the SEC? Whose fault is that? The next coach will either be an unknown or a Brooks-type of old fart who’s on his last legs as a coach.

  33. portlandky
    10:48 am October 8, 2012 Permalink

    32- It’s funny that you say their next hire will be on his last legs as a coach because that would be an improvement. Joker was on a pair of crutches when he took his first step as a head coach. The last 2 years as an OC anyone could see that he was scared to call a play that covered more than 5 yds.

  34. KYWCAT
    2:25 pm October 8, 2012 Permalink

    #14 I just read an article the other day and actually Whitlow was the passing QB in his high school offense while his running counterpart went to Georgia Tech. Everyone makes interesting observations from the stand about how Towles commanded the team etc. All we can see from the stand is the play as it unfolds and the end result. Yes he was able to drive down the field but of the 5 passes 4/5 were questionable at best even for a high school QB. Either off target or wobbling. If it weren’t for the very poor coverage by the exceptional (not sure how they left our receivers so wide open) MSU backfield I’m not for sure any but 1 of the passes would have been complete. So I think both QB’s appeared promising and I now think we are sitting on 3 QB’s which will be a real competition in the off season and spring for the starting position next season. An actual competition unlike this facade to the fans about Newton being a potential starter. I also keep reading about Barnhart an his negligence to the program. I’m not for sure but I believe it is also the responsibility of the head coach to fight for those things needed or command them. Again Joker is not the right guy to do these things. You need a guy who can promise wins, promise recruits and who has experience with updated facilities so the administration can see the ROI in updating facilities. As well blame Barnhart all you want, this becomes a legislature issue. The money isn’t sitting in a half full suitcase in Barnhart’s office labeled “Football Facility Upgrades”. Learn the process people. #25 I think Joker is under even heavier fire because of the blatant mismanagement of the QB situation from acting like there was a starting QB controversy from the beginning of the season including Newton, playing Newton, then not pulling Newton, then not having anyone for a backup position to redshirt issues etc. This whole QB situation has really teased out Joker’s ineptitude. If Joker goes the entire staff goes. Do we want these recruiters, DC etc. I don’t see anything on the field that makes me feel any of the position coaches should be there. And as far as the redshirt is concerned I think when the athlete goes to the radio etc and says I want to play, then I think it is ok. It is a coach/player decision.

  35. Uk22
    5:00 pm October 8, 2012 Permalink

    Is anybody ever going put some of this blame on the fans? All you have hear is negativity coming from the majority of their mouths. It makes it basically impossible for anybody to succeed at this program (players and coaches). I have seen division 3 stadiums of 15,000 people be louder than commonwealth stadium, and it is a shame how quickly some of the people leave. People were leaving the second South Carolina went up by a a point or two in the 3rd quarter. That game was far from over, but all you could hear in the second half was crickets. Stop complaining about other people and look in the mirror. If you want a good program support them the way real fans do through thick and thin.

    I am not saying everyone is guilty of this becausese there are good loyal fans out there. These fans are there every week til the end, but I am tired of all the complaining and excuses.

  36. KYWCAT
    11:10 am October 9, 2012 Permalink

    UK22 I hear you loud and clear. How does everyone complain of Barnhart and the administration’s lack of support when these same people refuse to go to games, give up their tickets, send in bad editorials, or leave the game early? These people can’t see the forest for the trees. It baffles me how they feel a team is like a civil rights protest/sit in. These are sons, brother’s, grandsons, and most importantly our Wildcats that sacrifice a normal college life, their bodies, their grades etc to play a sport they love and to give us their effort! Show up! If not, shut up!