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Patrick Towles bounces back with a huge win over Missouri

Photo by UK Athletics

What a difference a week makes, right? After suffering another crushing loss to Florida last Saturday, the Cats rebounded tonight, beating #25 ranked Missouri 21-13.

There was a LOT riding on this game for Kentucky, and they delivered on almost every front, Patrick Towles silencing the haters, the defense holding up their part of the bargain, and the program getting a crucial win, its first over a ranked opponent in five years.

Let’s break it down, because that was a lot of fun.

Patrick Towles redeemed himself

Towles’ play was the story of the game. After a bad showing against Florida, many in the fan base were calling for Patrick’s curly-locked head. Towles swore off social media to escape the haters this week, and his focus today showed. Towles was 22-27 for 249 yards, two touchdowns and zero interceptions, and added another 21 yards on the ground for a touchdown. “Patty Feet” was back in a big way, with Towles scrambling like the QB of old. Jared Lorenzen called for Patrick to take back the reins and scramble when needed, and thankfully, he did tonight.

After the week he’s had and the game he turned in tonight, can you blame him for celebrating like this?

Stoops told reporters afterwards that he’s pretty stingy with game balls, but he had to give one to Patrick tonight.

“I gave him a gameball. I thought he played a really good game and made some really good plays with his feet and was aggressive down the stretch,” Stoops said. He added he was careful not to pile on the criticism before the game. “I don’t like to get involved with that. I really didn’t say much. Just go do what he does every day. Give him support and give him a pat on the back.”

Five guys who were also crucial

  • Garrett Johnson: “Towles to Juice” is becoming a familiar refrain in Commonwealth Stadium, and Johnson led the team in receiving tonight with 6 catches for 119 yards. He and Patrick are developing some major chemistry, and I feel most confident when the ball goes in his direction.
  • Ryan Flannigan: The senior linebacker finally returned to the field tonight after recovering from a nagging shoulder injury, and his presence made a difference. Flannigan had 8 tackles tonight, and kept the pressure on Maty Mauk and his receiving corps. It’s really nice to have him back.
  • CJ Conrad: Conrad got his first touchdown as a Wildcat tonight, finally making the highlight reel for something other than blocking. He finished with three catches for 55 yards and the aforementioned touchdown. Stoops knew it was only a matter of time until the true freshman made his mark.

“I told Shannon to finally throw him the ball,” Stoops joked. “It was nice to see him get some catches. We knew it would happen.”

  • Dorian Baker: After two huge drops in first quarters this season, admit it, you were a little worried when the ball headed in Baker’s direction. He didn’t help himself early on with an unfortunate unsportsmanlike penalty, but rebounded quickly to finish with 5 receptions for 51 yards and a touchdown. This catch should be in the SportsCenter Top 10:

  • JoJo Kemp: Kemp has become the forgotten running back in UK’s rotation, but he looked like the JoJo from the South Carolina series tonight, leading Kentucky’s rushing attack with 13 carries for 66 yards. In typical JoJo fashion, he came through in clutch moments, giving Kentucky renewed life when drives were becoming stale.

“I think he really had some critical runs,” Stoops told Tom Leach. “You never know who will have the big game, and our backs understand that.”

  • Honorable mention: I could go on and on, but for brevity’s sake, game balls also go out to Cory Johnson, Chris Westry, Jason Hatcher, and AJ Stamps. As Stoops emphasized in his postgame remarks, this was a team win in every form and fashion.

UK finally got a third quarter touchdown

The third quarter has not been Kentucky’s friend this season, and I was pretty worried when the Cats seemed to implode after halftime. Patrick Towles, who looked so confident to start the game, was reverting to bad habits, and the rest of the team wasn’t doing much to help him out. Thankfully, CJ Conrad came along and broke the dry spell, hauling in his first touchdown reception as a Wildcat. That was enough to earn him a shoutout from legendary UK tight end Jacob Tamme:

The pass interference call on Blake McClain was terrible

Again, it’s a win, so I don’t want to harp on negative things, but the pass interference call on Blake McClain at the start of the fourth quarter was really frustrating. The officials claimed McClain grabbed the other guy’s jersey, which wiped out a 70-yard interception return for a touchdown by AJ Stamps. Thankfully, the defense stood tall and recovered, but that could have been a call that would come to haunt the Cats.

Stoops apparently danced in the locker room

Garrett Johnson told reporters that Stoops joined in the postgame locker room revelry, breaking out some dance moves that hopefully were recorded by a player with a quick iPhone trigger. Stoops laughed it off in his interview with Tom Leach, claiming that he was only trying to get the guys rounded up to talk about the win and got lost in the moment, but can you imagine? I’ve seen a LOT of awkward dancing to “Grove Street Party” in the past two weeks, but Stoops dancing would probably take the cake. Stoops paused several times during his remarks, telling reporters and Tom Leach the win felt like a blur. Apparently defensive coordinator DJ Eliot was so happy he walked around the Wildcat Den randomly hugging media members. As he kept repeating, this was a “huge win.”

The path to a bowl looks MUCH more manageable now

A week ago, the world looked pretty bleak, didn’t it? The loss to Florida bruised the hopes of a fragile fan base that was finally believing, but, thankfully, the team’s resolve remained strong. Patrick Towles silenced the haters and showed he’s still the guy to lead this team. Most importantly, the path to the postseason looks promising, with the Cats halfway to bowl eligibility. All they need to do is beat EKU, Charlotte, and Vanderbilt. Four games in, would you have imagined a more manageable path? If the Cats can’t handle that, they don’t deserve to go to a bowl.

“Much like a week ago, we were put in a situation where you needed to make some plays,” Stoops said. “It was nice to do it tonight. We were on the wrong end a week ago, but we have been in a bunch of close football games this year and came out with three victories — so, proud of that.”

After falling on their face against Florida, the Cats took care of business and took a major step forward tonight, beating a ranked opponent and moving one step closer to a bowl. Not only that, they overcame some mistakes and won. How often have we been able to say that? For that reason alone, we should all feel like this right now:

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

26 Comments for Patrick Towles bounces back with a huge win over Missouri

  1. We're Number 55
    12:42 am September 27, 2015 Permalink

    I am looking at running for public office. How do I start my own fan website in order to help get my name out there?

  2. Walls
    12:53 am September 27, 2015 Permalink

    The refs got a ton of things run in that game, but the Blake McClain pass interference wasnt one of them.

    • Megan
      9:00 am September 27, 2015 Permalink

      Agreed. Don’t know why fans didn’t see the interference.

  3. Shelby
    12:58 am September 27, 2015 Permalink

    Great win for UK. I saw about 75 students “storm” the field after the game. Does UK get still get fined? Go Cats.

  4. Go Cats Go
    1:06 am September 27, 2015 Permalink

    Where’s the A$$hole that made the Bo Duke comment last week. Guess Bo can YEAHAW this week, how bout that cous?

  5. inside info2
    1:08 am September 27, 2015 Permalink

    Great game and great win. So happy to see it. The refs were absolutely terrible though. They missed some easy calls for both sides tonight. Hope they get reviewed.

    Patrick rebounded and had a great game. Should be able to get some nice stats these next few games. Still think the staff should slip in Barker for a few series just in case he’s needed later for some reason.

  6. Moto
    1:27 am September 27, 2015 Permalink

    Right or wrong all the negative criticism toward Towles achieved its goal, which was motivating him to play like the player we all know he is. I think there is a difference between criticizing a player who has the skills but is not performing like he is capable of as opposed to a criticizing a player who just doesn’t have the skills necessary to perform. Patrick is obviously in the former category.

    • Sir Edmond
      1:33 am September 27, 2015 Permalink

      I agree.

    • Megan
      9:09 am September 27, 2015 Permalink

      Nonsense. People, including some at KSR, were becoming negative because they’re bad fans. What kind of ego do you have to have to think your personal negativity is going to motivate our quarterback, particularly when he eschewed all social media?

      No, don’t bail out the bad fans like that.

  7. WeareBBN
    1:44 am September 27, 2015 Permalink

    That drive home felt much shorter this week. Pat threw the ball pretty well this evening but also give a mention to the coaches. Moving the pocket and having the backs help block gave Pat time to make a decision several times. I am a believer that Pat can’t lead this team to its true potential {but will also say what I think does not matter and I hope I am wrong} but his play this evening shows the most important people {the QB and OC} that Pat can make the throws and plays. I really hope he will on a consistent basis. We have a tough stretch coming with Auburn, MSU, Tenn. and UGA that we will have to have Pat play well. All are games we could win or lose, doubt we can beat UGA but hoping, and these 4 games will make this a good year or great year. GO BIG BLUE.

    • average fan
      8:09 am September 27, 2015 Permalink

      Agree completely. Coaches made great moves following the Florida game in preparation for this game. I am glad to see Kemp continue to run well, he is really under appreciated. Averaged 5 yards per carry as a true freshman behind a bad offensive line. Kid can run.

  8. Fair weather fan
    2:33 am September 27, 2015 Permalink

    Big game. Big win. PT was brave tonight, played like a SEC QB. Line played awesome. The DEEEEEEEE was awesome. Focus on the next game. Play like this, UK has a shot!
    Go cats!

  9. TrueBlueCayut
    3:32 am September 27, 2015 Permalink

    Dem derr footie ball cats ain’t play the way I want. A win isa win but I needa better win. Y’all betta get on it or I want some poeple fired! Dang, don’t yall know this is Tucky boyyyy. Go CATTSSS!

    • AndThisPertainsTooooooo?
      8:14 am September 27, 2015 Permalink

      Wth? Pointless drivel.

    • TrueBlueCayut
      11:56 am September 27, 2015 Permalink

      1-3! Watch out world!!

  10. uk 78
    5:54 am September 27, 2015 Permalink

    Good job boys now let’s keep rolling now

  11. BetterFindADifferentWord
    8:02 am September 27, 2015 Permalink

    than redeemed. According to your boy Jones the Towles critics can now shut up because they were all wrong. Seems the critics can’t count the Florida game and ignore this one. Problem for Matty is the reverse is also true for Towles apologists. He’s the guy going forward but enough of the all or nothing arguments please. Towles deserved criticism last week and deserves kudos this week.

    • CATandMONKEY
      8:24 am September 27, 2015 Permalink

      Redeemed is a fair choice. The irrational critics continually harped that we could never win another game with Towles at the helm, that he couldn’t possibly lead this team now or ever. He definitely redeemmed himself for the FL loss, a game for which he did deserve criticism.

    • BFADW
      2:12 pm September 27, 2015 Permalink

      Point being there was no redemption needed according to Jones. the critics were “all wrong”.

  12. M. T. Pockets
    8:28 am September 27, 2015 Permalink

    no one is happier than I am to see the cats win. and a W is a W, but really, who ever voted mizzou no. 25 was voting last year’s team, I think, there is no way a rational person could look at their record this year and see a ranked team. if I was no. 15, my feelings would be hurt. GO CATS !!!

  13. Kayla
    8:34 am September 27, 2015 Permalink

    I am absolutely elated that Patrick had a good game last night. I have felt since last week that if he didn’t have a knockout game this week, his confidence was going to go through the floor. Regardless if they would have kept him out there or put Barker in if he had an off night, he needed this win to solidify in his own mind that he is the QB this team wants and needs.

  14. Megan
    9:16 am September 27, 2015 Permalink

    We got some players, don’t we? I’m loving this team. And I’m very happy for all of them. Let’s keep this thing going and see where it takes us.

    • CATandMONKEY
      9:34 am September 27, 2015 Permalink

      Exactly this.

  15. Peter
    9:46 am September 27, 2015 Permalink

    Have some cake. You deserved it.

  16. SinceStollField
    10:10 am September 27, 2015 Permalink

    Just an outstanding effort on both sides of the ball and by the coaching staff. Towles deserved the game ball, but this truly was a team victory. I was really proud of the mental toughness Towles and the rest of the team showed, not only in how they played last night but in how they responded to the Florida loss. Cats! Cats! Cats! Let’s get ready to face the EKU Cheapshots next.

  17. Tampa satchel
    10:15 am September 27, 2015 Permalink

    Huge win! Love that we are winning and not necessarily playing near the peak of our potential. We still have upside, especially on the offensive line and punt returns. Man, Timmons has got to get it together. he is not a true freshman back there, but he is playing like one. Real shaky. Stoops needs to figure out a way to get his confidence up.