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Stoops says whichever QB plays best in practice this week will start vs. Vandy

Photo by UK Athletics

Photo by UK Athletics

Photo by UK Athletics

Earlier today on KSR, Mark Stoops said he’s ready to play whichever quarterback gives his team the best chance to beat Vanderbilt on Saturday. Although Patrick Towles is still listed as the starting quarterback on the depth chart, Stoops told reporters that he’s informed Patrick that the job is open to both him and Drew Barker this week.

“We’ve addressed it with Patrick,” Stoops said. “He understands that, he accepts that. He’s got to go out and perform and produce like everyone else on our team.”

How does Stoops think Patrick will respond to the competition?

“I think Patrick will be fine. I think one thing about him is he’s been resilient. He’s had some good games and some bad games and again, it’s not all on him. We need to play better around him and certainly offensively, when you put on that film and you look at the play of the other ten guys, it was not up to par as well.”

Although Drew Barker hasn’t gotten many snaps this season, Stoops said he’s been pleased with his progress.

“I feel more and more comfortable with him, I really do,” Stoops said of Drew. “I think he’s handled it very well. It was good for him to finally get some snaps against Mississippi State, and then he got the shoulder [injury] and was out for a week. Last week he came back and wasn’t at full strength with the zip on the football, but he was ready to play. This week, I expect him to be further along physically, ready to go. I think he’s handled it very well. He’s worked hard, he looks comfortable in practice.”

One knock on Patrick throughout his career is that, at times, he holds on to the ball too long. When asked what Drew brings to the table when he’s playing his best, Stoops said decisiveness.

“Quick decisions. We all know that’s important and I think one thing you see from him at times is he’s decisive at what he’s doing.”

Vanderbilt has one of the best defenses in the nation, which makes Saturday probably not the ideal time to switch quarterbacks, but with the offense only putting up 180 yards vs. Georgia, that’s just the reality of the situation.

“It’s crossed our minds,” Stoops said of the poor timing of the potential quarterback switch. “It’s difficult. We’ll see how the week goes. Again, whoever gives us the best chance to go into Vandy and win will take the first snaps. If we feel confident in both guys or one guy is struggling, we’ll go to the other.”

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.

37 Comments for Stoops says whichever QB plays best in practice this week will start vs. Vandy

  1. za
    1:02 pm November 9, 2015 Permalink

    Start Drew. First play of the game should be a jet sweep to the non-QB with the best arm. Throw it back to Drew, then go from there.

  2. kyjohn
    1:11 pm November 9, 2015 Permalink

    Looks like Barker won’t be playing Saturday.Coach Jones and Lemon both say ,go with the starter and they know.And we all know Stoops and Dawson couldn’t make s decisive decision if their life depended on it.

  3. Angelo
    1:12 pm November 9, 2015 Permalink

    I wonder if Stoops knows anything about offense.

    • The Rest of the story
      6:25 pm November 9, 2015 Permalink

      I wonder if Stoops knows anything about defense

    • catsarerunnin
      8:40 pm November 9, 2015 Permalink

      I wonder if Stoops knows anything about football.

  4. TWhite
    1:13 pm November 9, 2015 Permalink

    I really hope this is just professional talk here, and that the decision to go with Drew has already been made. If not then of course Towles will win the job in practice. He’s gotten most of the reps for 10+ weeks. He’s going to look sharper in practice. If they start Towles again, they are going to lose a lot of what little support from the fan base they have left. I like Towles, but he’s just not getting it done. We’ve seen this song and dance before. It ends 5-7.

  5. Long Dong Silver
    1:16 pm November 9, 2015 Permalink

    But J-Dub and Jaybrat say that the qb position is fine. Why would Stoops open up the position?

    • J-Dub421
      2:03 pm November 9, 2015 Permalink

      I just said I don’t think it will matter due to the poor play of our offensive line and receivers.

    • Long Dong Silver
      2:08 pm November 9, 2015 Permalink

      Maybe those two areas are underperforming because of Pat? Look, a team must be together to succeed. If a team loses faith in a qb, you will get drops and poor blocking.

    • J-Dub421
      2:12 pm November 9, 2015 Permalink

      Drops and poor blocking existed last season.

    • Kyblue34
      2:36 pm November 9, 2015 Permalink

      And Towles was the QB last season, so what’s your point? I agree that the poor WR & OL play has a lot to do with their confidence in the QB. It’s not the only reason, but it is a significant one.

    • J-Dub421
      2:41 pm November 9, 2015 Permalink

      Fine, swap quarterbacks. But Drew Barker better look like Tom Brady out there, and we better win by 3 or more touchdowns for the last three games of the season. The line should make every block, and the receivers should catch every pass. If Towles is the big problem on offense, then simply swapping him out for Barker should solve all of our problems on offense.

    • Long Dong Silver
      2:51 pm November 9, 2015 Permalink

      Now Jaybrat/Dub, calm down. Nobody said Barker is Tom Brady. We are already getting hammered every weekend. Clearly, what we have been doing isn’t working. I am all for everything UK football related to be up for grabs. Including coaching. But I have a hunch that Towles is a big part of the quit this team has in them.

    • J-Dub421
      4:06 pm November 9, 2015 Permalink

      You said our poor offensive line play and poor wide receiver play were the fault of our QB. So, by your own logic, changing QB’s should solve that problem.

    • Long Dong Silver
      4:16 pm November 9, 2015 Permalink

      Catmonkeyjbratjdun, nope. But the O line rotates players. We get to see all of them. We don’t get that luxury at qb.

    • J-Dub421
      4:31 pm November 9, 2015 Permalink

      Saying I’m three different people doesn’t make it true.

      What does rotating offensive line players have to do with anything? You said, “Maybe those two areas are underperforming because of Pat? Look, a team must be together to succeed. If a team loses faith in a qb, you will get drops and poor blocking.” You also said that you thought our offensive line and receivers had “lost confidence” in Towles, and that Towles can’t pass. By your own reasoning, switching Barker for Towles should solve all the offensive problems. You’ve been arguing this to me all day, and personally calling me out on it.

    • Long Dong Silver
      6:09 pm November 9, 2015 Permalink

      Yes, with all three of your usernames. You’ve argued all day. Trying to put words in my mouth. You keep saying using a different qb wouldn’t matter. How do we know? You say the O line is solely to blame. If thats so, wouldn’t a mobile qb with a quicker read be a better option? Hmm? All I’m saying is try something different. Keepingon doing the shit sure hasn’t worked.

    • catsarerunnin
      8:42 pm November 9, 2015 Permalink

      Can’t we all just get along???

    • J-Dub421
      10:13 pm November 9, 2015 Permalink

      Now you’re trying to change your argument. I never said the offensive line was solely to blame. I specifically said there was plenty of blame to go around on offense. I said we have bigger offensive issues than Towles.

      You on the other hand, said Towles can’t pass, and blamed him for our poor offensive line play and for receivers dropping passes. I am not putting the words in your mouth, they are your own.

      Now you are trying to say you just want a change because what we’ve been doing isn’t working. If you had said this previously we wouldn’t have been this argument all day. But, that’s not what you said. You dumped all our offensive issues on Towles.

  6. JTsaysHey
    1:22 pm November 9, 2015 Permalink

    Towles is absolute pathetic human being and his play at qb is atrocious. I am done with this team until they make the change at qb.

    • RealCatsFan
      1:25 pm November 9, 2015 Permalink

      Don’t know how you can comment about him as a human unless you know him personally. On the other hand, we all know that Barker has made some questionable decisions in the off season, so his maturity is in question. Not an apologist for Patrick (see my other post), but disparaging a person’s character on the internet when you don’t know them nullifies your argument.

  7. RealCatsFan
    1:23 pm November 9, 2015 Permalink

    Some kids are just “gamers” – they shine in the pressure of a game situation, while others look great in practice but wither under the bright lights of the game. Barker should get the chance to show what type of player he is.

  8. inside info2
    1:43 pm November 9, 2015 Permalink

    I really hope Towels continues to worry about how his hair looks on the sidelines and keeps up those cocky eye-winks throughout the game. Win or lose, he’s gotta keep up the appearance of an NFL QB.

  9. leon singleton
    1:47 pm November 9, 2015 Permalink

    Towles needs to cut his hair and look like a man instead looking like a girl.

    • TimInOboro
      1:59 pm November 9, 2015 Permalink

      I am a man who is letting his hair and beard grow. So I wonder why so many have issues with the hair. Habitually shaking the hair back seems to be a bad reason to be against his QB play. I seen a few of his throws early on this season that looked like they were “threading a needle” (maybe bad decisions). I wished he could do that on a consistent basis. But consistency is the name of the game. I could go on and on about what I don’t understand about Wildcat football fans, but I won’t. I will say I am still #ALLIN.

    • TimInOboro
      2:16 pm November 9, 2015 Permalink

      I have had only one complaint about Towles. When I was at the Catwalk before the Florida game, he did not smile or look fired up about the Catwalk.(my first and only game so far….hoping more) I would like to have seen him enjoying himself more. Have fun with it. But that is my problem with Kentucky Cub Fans. If miracles don’t happen in 3 years, lets blow it up and start over. In 108 years, we still won’t have a world series.
      Let’s just have fun cheering on the Cats and compare last week to 4 years ago and not compare it to 4 weeks ago. I want Stoops here when he retires. I want the next stadium to be named after him. Right now, I want the Cats to play 4 more games this year. #ALLIN

  10. Catsby80
    1:48 pm November 9, 2015 Permalink

    I don’t claim to be a coach or know what is best for this team, but my thought is this… We know what we’re going to get with Towles.. We know that he is average at best (and I’m being generous)… Why not give Barker an opportunity to prove himself? I know Vandy has a good defense and all, but how many times do you have to touch the stove before you realize that it’s hot?

    I’m not saying that Barker is going to right the ship, but isn’t it possible that maybe he could be better than Towles? I’m sorry but 8-21 for 96 yards and 2 picks just isn’t going to cut it… It’s time to reevaluate and see what you’ve got in Barker.

    • Catsby80
      1:50 pm November 9, 2015 Permalink

      and to further my point, Towles’ 10 touchdowns to 12 interceptions ratio on the season is even more telling.

    • jopo53
      2:07 pm November 9, 2015 Permalink

      My sentiments exactly. I think the poor offensive play is a combination of several things (o-line play, playcalling, etc.), but a change at QB may be just what the offense needs. Towles may practice better than Barker, but there’s a big difference between the mentality/performance of a QB in practice than on gameday. Of course, there will be growing pains, but maybe…just maybe…Barker can breathe some life into this stagnant offense. Why not?

  11. fatbrat
    2:07 pm November 9, 2015 Permalink

    Meet the new boss
    Same as the old boss…………….

  12. bigpops
    2:18 pm November 9, 2015 Permalink

    They will all look great in practice…they are going against UK’s defense!!! Duh.

  13. bigpops
    2:20 pm November 9, 2015 Permalink

    Stoops hair is as bad as the QB play. Geez.

  14. ognus
    2:30 pm November 9, 2015 Permalink

    I does not matter which QB plays, until we get an offensive line Payton Manning would look bad. The line couldn’t stop a good high school defense from sacking the QB.

  15. Le Docteur
    2:48 pm November 9, 2015 Permalink

    Every time Stoops opens his mouth this week, I lose respect for him. In the interview with Matt, he said something like “If you want to crucify me over that….” Whenever your coach starts depicting criticism (or in Matt’s case, softball but legitimate questions) as crucifixion, you’re coach is losing control of himself and his situation.

    And to say, in week 10, “whoever plays better in practice is who we’re going with” is complete rubbish. Particularly after saying that Barker reads quicker than Towles. What, after 4 years of college football, is Towles going to read faster this week? Does Stoops really actually think that the problem with Towles is he’s not motivated in practice and so saying “whoever practices better wins the job” is going to help? I like Stoops better when I don’t listen to what he says. Jesus. I now think a dumpster fire could well be in our immediate future.

  16. kjd
    4:21 pm November 9, 2015 Permalink

    I just don’t understand the reluctance to play Barker.
    We know what Towles will give us. We’ve seen it all season, and all last season. Stoops inherited Towles.
    Stoops went all out to get Barker. Just seems logical, Stoops would already have switched. Why hasn’t he?
    What is the division amongst the team Stoops alluded to?
    It’s past time to see what intangibles Barker can bring to the QB spot during a real game. The team is in desperate need of a spark. There is really nothing to lose (IMO).
    Go Big Blue!

  17. The Rest of the story
    6:45 pm November 9, 2015 Permalink

    I made a comment about Stoops starting the best from practice at quarterback. The comment was removed so it must have offended the Great and Powerful OZ. LOL

  18. Tej
    7:08 pm November 9, 2015 Permalink

    The criticisms of Patrick’s play are well-taken in part; the criticisms of his hairstyle and failure to smile on the Catwalk once are inane. I can only hope these personal criticisms were made tongue in cheek. If not, these posters are surely UL fans.

    I guess some posters want the coaches to ignore practice performances by players. Does anyone really think that the coaches won’t play the guy at qb who they think will give them the best chance to win? Why would they do anything else? It could be that Patrick is the best qb at this point. Hard to swallow but maybe true.