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Stoops mum on Drew Barker’s back injury, but stands behind him as starter

Dale Zanine | USA Today

Dale Zanine | USA Today

Dale Zanine | USA Today

There’s been some grumbling in the BBN after Drew Barker was listed as the starting quarterback on this morning’s depth chart. Drew went down with a back injury after the first series on Saturday and was taken to the hospital for evaluation. In his place, backup Stephen Johnson went 17-22 for 310 yards, three touchdowns, and zero interceptions, and also carried the ball ten times for 51 yards. As you would expect, Stoops was asked about Drew’s condition to open his weekly press conference, but didn’t say much.

“We’ll see how the week goes on,” Stoops said. “I’m in no position to talk about that right now. He had an MRI, he’s going to consult with our doctors and some specialists and we’ll get to the bottom of it and see what’s best for him.”

Stoops said the hit Drew took on Saturday aggravated some lingering issues in his back that go back to last week at Florida and even earlier in the summer.

“He’s had some issues that were lingering, so it’s not just one hit. If you look at the hit, it doesn’t look anything too much but I think you put that and compound it on some the back problems that he’s had, even going back to last week at Florida,” Stoops said. “He had a few issues come up in the summer, a couple things that were bothering him. Some of this is chronic.”

Now, the question everyone in the Big Blue Nation has today: if Drew is healthy, will Stephen Johnson play?

“I would assume so,” Stoops said. “I thought [Johnson] was really exceptional. He started a little shaky on the first possession. After that first possession, he really settled in and played an exceptional game. He made good decisions, he was poised, he was accurate on the deep ball, he got the ball on the bubble screens where you have the run/pass options (RPOs) and the RPOs where we get the ball down the field to CJ [Conrad]. He made very good decisions and he was very poised and he was accurate.”


“Drew is listed as the starter on the depth chart for a reason.” 

Okay, then. Glad we cleared that up.

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.

25 Comments for Stoops mum on Drew Barker’s back injury, but stands behind him as starter

  1. Patches
    12:38 pm September 19, 2016 Permalink

    LOL Of course he lists that guy as his starter he has his 12 mil he don’t give a crap bout losing

  2. Laker Cat 18
    12:40 pm September 19, 2016 Permalink

    This decision is one that will make or break Stoops for me. It will be career defining for him. We’ll see how production unfolds as time goes on.

  3. Han
    12:50 pm September 19, 2016 Permalink

    “Drew is listed as the starter on the depth chart for a reason.”

    And that’s probably the same reason our defense is garbage: This coaching staff no coach good.

    • UKPROF
      4:03 pm September 19, 2016 Permalink

      Totally agree Han. The ‘back up’ quarterback chalks up a win and 62 points and that’s just not good enough to get the starting nod for the next game? We need a new head coach, one that’s not suffering from brain damage.

  4. sportspot
    1:01 pm September 19, 2016 Permalink

    Barker is strictly a “pocket passer”. Sadly we do not have an offensive line capable of creating a pocket. Johnson has mobility and elusiveness and is capable of moving out of the pocket. You would think that a man who is sitting on $18,000,000 would be smart enough to recognize this, but apparently not

    • Mathlete
      1:07 pm September 19, 2016 Permalink

      $12mil*, $18mil is to get rid of the whole staff

      And if you were guaranteed to make $12mil to do a bad enough job to get canned, you’d show up to work with your pants around your head yelling racial epithets waving a samurai sword.

  5. Patches
    1:12 pm September 19, 2016 Permalink

    Shame on Stoops and this whole staff for the incompetent job they have and are doing. If Barker had stayed in the game we lose to NMS and would bet the house on that. Shame shame shame!

  6. sammydog
    1:14 pm September 19, 2016 Permalink

    Stoops would be stupid to name a starter at this point in the week. Why give South Carolina a leg up in their preparation? Let them assume all starting positions remain the same as they have thru 3 games.

  7. ukcat94
    1:15 pm September 19, 2016 Permalink

    Yeah you all need to at least wait and see come Saturday before casting judgement and already being negative. These comment sections are unbearable now. Why would they go ahead and announce that information on Monday instead of doing whatever possible to keep USC’s defense guessing in preparation? I agree Johnson should start and I would guess that ends up being the case. Relax.

  8. secrick
    1:18 pm September 19, 2016 Permalink

    Remember last year when the cards came in and started old whats his name and we where kicking his butt and Pitrino finally put in Jackson and the great job he did. Now for the life of me i don’t know how Pitrino wouldn’t have already know that Jackson was the better Quarterback but at least he let him start the rest of the year. How can these coaches not know who the best Quarterback is.

  9. sammydog
    2:00 pm September 19, 2016 Permalink

    There are intangibles that aren’t always apparent until a player gets in the spotlight on the field in a tough game situation . Johnson had not shown much in his previous outing. Practice reports were he wasn’t the greatest passer. After a few plays on Sarurday it was obvious this guy is a gamer, a player who rises to the occasion when the lights are bright. He looked like a leader and played with swag. You could see the players around him trusted him in the game. Re: Petrino and Jackson. He probably didn’t know Jackson could leap buildings in a single bounce from practice. The emotions in a game are totally different than practice. Jackson was overlooked and under rated by most of football until the lights came on.

  10. ukkatzfan
    2:30 pm September 19, 2016 Permalink

    I wonder why Stoops has a SEC contract with a $12 mil. buyout and these Monday morning coaches don’t have their agents in contact with the UK president. I think between the 2, I will cheer UK football, Stoops and his staff. My guess is they see Barker as having a higher ceiling than Johnson. If we turn the season around now, we end up with 6-7 wins at the very best. Next season,we’ll have our soph and junior players as Junior and Seniors after very few key personnel losses and add in maturing of our freshmen with experience in Gran’s offense. If people want to complain about how we fell apart in 2nd half of Southern Miss game, then they should give Stoops credit for a 27-7 2nd half against NMS. With that being said, I believe SC, Vandy, Miss St and MO are much more important than NMS. But I am believing in a 4-0 record there and a 7-6 season. And as far as Johnson, it is always good to have an Ace in the hole.

  11. Souf beach Lou
    2:59 pm September 19, 2016 Permalink

    Drew Barker is garbage, he left something back on that floor in EKU, besides his dignity and pride, he has never been the same.

  12. inside info2
    3:09 pm September 19, 2016 Permalink

    In the spring practices people that were at practice thought Johnson should have been the starter. He was better than everything vs. Barker except the deep ball. Of course Stoops already caused one QB to transfer so he had to name Barker the starter. I said all along that Johnson would be the starter by the end of the season this year. Especially with the lack of talent we have on the O line, we need a mobile QB. Johnson will be the permanent starter by the Vandy game.

    • UK Big Board Update
      3:14 pm September 19, 2016 Permalink

      Stoops was probably just trying to keep the rednecks happy. I mean, they were all clamoring for Barker last year….

      Damned if you do, damned if you don’t….

    • inside info2
      3:25 pm September 19, 2016 Permalink

      You know what they say, the most popular QB on the team is the backup QB.

      I am amazed though how we had good QBs under Brooks but since he has left, all the 4 star talent we have had has not materialized to produce even a serviceable QB

    • Billy Hill
      4:05 pm September 19, 2016 Permalink

      Yeah, and Ricky Bobby said “if you ain’t first, you’re last”

      Both are dumb quotes embraced by morons as some sort of proverb.

      I’ll let the OC be the judge, not some hilljack on a message board.

  13. Tej
    3:26 pm September 19, 2016 Permalink

    I guess the “people that were at the practices” knew more than Gran, Hinshaw, Stoops, and all the
    other coaches who saw these guys all through the Spring and Fall. These coaches decided to go with the guy with the lesser talent. Why? To keep the rednecks happy. This makes sense.

    • inside info2
      3:34 pm September 19, 2016 Permalink

      Not to keep the rednecks happy, but to keep the egg off their faces. “Hey we just caused two guys to transfer by putting Barker in at the end of the season, but we are going to not name him the starter to begin this season” would not have gone over well in the media.

      The rednecks won’t be happy until we get a QB here that lives up to the hype. Both Towels and Barker were either way overhyped or have not been coached well. I watched parts of several games Saturday and the only other offense that looked as bad as ours was Vandy’s. It has been one underwhelming QB after another since Hartline. And a lot of people didn’t really care of him. I thought he was pretty good though.

    • Billy Hill
      4:06 pm September 19, 2016 Permalink

      I don’t think that inside info2 is understanding that: redneck = idiots

  14. bosshogg24
    4:11 pm September 19, 2016 Permalink

    If Stoops starts Barker he should be fired on the spot and told to leave the stadium!

    • Billy Hill
      4:36 pm September 19, 2016 Permalink

      Calm down, old man. Shouldn’t you be harassing people on twitter?

  15. cats42301
    4:46 pm September 19, 2016 Permalink

    If Stoops would have been coach for the Patriots when Drew Bledsoe got injured and was replaced with some no name QB at the time, I think his name was Tom Brady then Bledsoe would have gotten his job back, Brady would have rode the bench until he eventually got traded, the Patriots probably would have never had the success they did and Tom Brady could have possibly been a journeyman QB his entire career. If you were too young or don’t remember the story of how Brady became qb then please look it up before you flame me with something like, dude you are crazy man brady was always the starter..etc etc etc LOL.
    I hate Drew got hurt but leading an offense to the second most total yards in a game in school history qualifies you to get the start against SC regardless of Barker’s status. You can’t try to be mr. Nice guy coach and think it’s not fair to drew to replace him since he was injured if you want to win football games, in the words of Rich Brooks “I think starting Johnson gives us the best chance to win the football game” He was actually talking about starting Shane Boyd over Jared Lorenzen, a move I did not agree with at all but the point is he chose the starting qb by whomever gave them the best chance to win in his eyes, not because he didn’t want to hurt someone’s feelings. I’m glad he eventually saw the light and started Jared. I wonder how many more passing yards jared would have amassed had he not been on the bench for those few games in Brooks first year.

  16. Jesus H. Chrysler
    5:19 pm September 19, 2016 Permalink

    Stoops can’t judge the talent on his own team to field the best results. Not a good look, especially for a D1 head coach. Make the call. Screw the kids feelings.

  17. BluKudzu
    9:34 pm September 19, 2016 Permalink

    NMSU is neither USM or Florida talent. Looking good against a defense, that is marginally better than ours, statistically, does not mean much.
    That being said, unless Barker has a miraculous week of practice, healthy, and perfect on every single snap, he will not be the starter. If he does, and does not play well, we have an option. Either way, this game with USC, will likely have anything to do with our QBs. It will be won by defense. The better defense wins this one folks. Worry about that.