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BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: History of 1st Year Starters since 2000

Jared Lorenzen (2000, RS Freshman)
-11 starts (2-9 record)
-321-559 (57.4% comp)
-19 TD, 21 INT

-Lorenzen would go on to have one of the best careers in UK history and would do so under 3 different head coaches.  But he was thrown into the fire as a redshirt freshman in 2000 under Hal Mumme and it showed.  Lorenzen’s 21 interceptions were a key factor in the team going 2-9.  And just to register how many that is, Lorenzen would only throw 20 INT’s COMBINED in his final 3 years.  With that said, much of that team’s problems were defensive in Hal Mumme’s last year as they gave up 30 or more points in 8 of 11 games.

Shane Boyd (2004, Senior)
-10 starts (1-9 record)
-138-263 (52.5% Comp)
-7 TD, 9 INT

-Boyd had actually started 5 games in 2001, his freshman year, as he split time with Lorenzen.  But the first time the job was completely his was his senior year in 2004.  It didn’t go well.  Boyd was splitting time with Andre Woodson by the middle of the season and even lost the job at one point.  By the end of the year he was the full-time starter again, including nearly upsetting Tennessee in Knoxville in the final game.  But overall, a struggle for him.

Andre Woodson (2005, Sophomore)
-11 starts (3-8 record)
-146-253 (57.7% Comp)
-6 TD, 6 INT

-After seeing time as a freshman in 7 games, Woodson was given the job for good as a sophomore in 2005.  And considering how his career turned out, it’s hard to remember the struggles he had that season.  Don’t forget many called for Curtis Pulley to be given the ball that year, but Rich Brooks stuck with Woodson for the long haul and it payed off the next 2 years.

Mike Hartline (2008, Sophomore)
-11 starts (7-4 record)
-172-311 (55.3% Comp)
-9 TD, 8 INT

-Up and down first season for Hartline.  He started 4-0, including an impressive performance against UL.  The 5th game was nearly an upset of Alabama on the road.  But the season began to really go south from there, so much so he was replaced by wide receiver Randall Cobb for 2 games.  But after Cobb got banged up, Hartline was back at the helm and would actually lead the Cats with a good performance in a bowl win over East Carolina.

Morgan Newton (2009, Freshman)
-8 starts (5-3 record)
-75-135 (55.6% Comp)
-6 TD, 3 INT

-Newton wasn’t supposed to play that season but a Hartline season ending injury thrust him into the spotlight.  The record is nice and the wins at Auburn and Georgia were historic.  But Newton was actually limited by the play calling, as evidenced by the fact he only completed 75 passes in 8 games.  But some flashes of brilliance led many UK fans to think the future was bright for Newton.  Alas, it didn’t turn out that well.

Max Smith (2012, Sophomore)
-4 starts (1-3 record)
-103-150 (68.7% Comp)
-8 TD, 4 INT

-What is disappointing about this season was that Smith was on pace to have the best season of anybody on this list.  But a torn ankle injury ended his season far too early and he has been fighting those injuries ever since.

Jalen Whitlow (2012, Freshman)
-8 starts (1-7 record)
-87-161 (54.0% Comp)
3 TD, 2 INT

-After Smith was injured early, Whitlow came on and just struggled to be effective at all.  He began splitting time with Towles some, but nonetheless, that season ended with Joker Phillips firing.  Whitlow was given the reigns at the beginning of the 2013 season, but that didn’t go well either and he eventually transferred.

Article written by Bryan the Intern

11 Comments for BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: History of 1st Year Starters since 2000



  1. Common Sense
    9:53 am August 26, 2014 Permalink

    Is it just me or does this team have similarities to the 2006 team. Woodson a sophomore, Towles a sophomore. Coming off a pretty bad season record wise. Everyone thinks we will be better but no one knows how much. Can we get a surprise win this season like we did in 06 against UGA? Hopefully.



  2. Eric
    9:54 am August 26, 2014 Permalink

    Their records in their first year basically depend on the talent and experience of the team around them. Mike Hartline was a decent QB, but had a better team around him his first year starting. Even morgan newton had a winning record with a decent team around him.

    Lets not read too much into what happens this year. If towles makes good decisions and can put the ball on the money a majority of the time, i think we can call him a success. It takes a team around the QB to make them look good. It is coming, but we are young and inexperienced.

    go cats



  3. Chris
    10:14 am August 26, 2014 Permalink

    You guys are absolutely fried if you can strut around and say UK will upset South Carolina. I’m rolling right now.



    • DLN
      10:20 am August 26, 2014 Permalink

      More like “trolling” right now…



    • football school
      11:43 am August 26, 2014 Permalink

      Sometime in the year 2007: “You guys are nuts if you think you’re gonna upset LSU! Geaux Tigers”



  4. cat888
    10:37 am August 26, 2014 Permalink

    I think the play calling his Freshmen year and bascially his whole career took away Newton’s confidense



  5. still the best
    11:02 am August 26, 2014 Permalink

    I think Whitlow had the best season – it led to joker getting fired!



  6. football school
    11:39 am August 26, 2014 Permalink

    Towles end of the year stats will be something like this:

    – 10 starts, 6-4 record (hurt for two games)
    – 262/385 (68%)
    – 17 TD, 6 INT

    Reese will fill in the two games Towles needs to sit out and go 1-1 and the Cats will end up in Nashville to once again face Clemson in the Music City Bowl.
    Go Cats!



  7. Uksnakes
    1:07 pm August 26, 2014 Permalink

    Whitlow had the worst team and OC around him , didn’t go thru spring and was a true fresh. He just beat out the 8th rank QB in the 2015 draft class. Whitlow will spend years in the NFL and UK QBs won’t get close



    • Wha?
      3:50 pm August 26, 2014 Permalink

      Put the pipe down, bro….



  8. catdaddyd
    8:38 pm August 26, 2014 Permalink

    Still can’t believe they benched Dusty Bonner for JLO.