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BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Even If Healthy, Has Drew Barker Earned the Starting Job?

Mark Zerof | USA Today

Mark Zerof | USA Today

Mark Zerof | USA Today

It looks like Drew Barker might be out as UK starting QB because of a back injury for quite some time and that is a shame for any player to get injured.  But from strictly a quality of play standpoint, does Barker’s injury come at the right time for UK, not only this season but the future?  Let’s not forget that the initial depth chart released this week still had Barker listed as the #1 QB coming into this weekend with South Carolina.  That tells me that IF he had been healthy, Barker would still be considered the starter, despite the success of Stephen Johnson last weekend.

So assuming Barker gets healthy at some point, I think it’s a fair question to ask: Has Barker done anything to DESERVE the starting job when he returns?  Barker was named the starter for the final 2 games of 2015 and the first 3 games of this season, and his stats in those games, broken down by half, are:

1st Half Charlotte: 16-26, 132 yards
2nd Half Charlotte: 0-3, 0 yards
1st Half Louisville: 5-8, 129 yards
2nd Half Louisville: 1-14, -1 yards
1st Half Southern Miss: 11-19, 287 yards, 4 TD
2nd Half Southern Miss: 4-5, 36 yards, 1 INT
1st Half Florida: 2-8, 10 yards, 2 INT
2nd Half Florida: 0-2, 1 INT
1st Half New Mexico St: 1-2, 1 yard, 1 INT

COMBINED: 40-87, 594 yards, 4 TD, 5 INT

COMBINED (w/o S.Miss 1st Half): 29-70, 207 yards, 0 TD, 5 INT

In 8 full halves and the 1st series of the MNSU game, Barker threw 4 touchdowns.  And all of those came in 1 half against Southern Miss.  If you take just that 1 half out, Barker is averaging less than 30 YARDS PASSING in the other 7+ halves of football.  30 YARDS!  Most QB’s will have a 30-yard completion in each half this season and Barker couldn’t average that with all of his passes in a half.  I don’t point this out to run down the kid but more to shine a critical light on the coaching staff who still listed him as the #1 QB this week initially, despite his injury and his backup outplaying him last week.

There is no doubt that Stephen Johnson is going to have struggles, especially passing the ball.  And UK is very likely to focus much more on the ground attack than passing game for the rest of the season, but even with that, Johnson should in no way be considered a step back in the passing game for the Cats.  Because for the past 4+ games, the passing attack couldn’t have been much worse for UK.

Article written by Bryan the Intern

9 Comments for BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Even If Healthy, Has Drew Barker Earned the Starting Job?

  1. CATSby90.5
    8:07 am September 22, 2016 Permalink

    “Most QB’s will have a 30-yard completion in each half this season and Barker couldn’t average that with all of his passes in a half.” I do not think you understand the mathematical definition of “average.”

    • TheDon
      9:12 am September 22, 2016 Permalink

      I think the idea is that Barker doesn’t average 30 TOTAL passing yards per half, while many quarterbacks typically have a single pass of 30 yards every half.

  2. bosshogg24
    8:14 am September 22, 2016 Permalink

    Barker has not proved that he is an SEC Quarterback, Stoops needs to stay with Johnson unless he fails to get the job done. I think Johnson is the QB for the next two years, Barker needs to follow Towles and Stoops has been recruiting the wrong type of Quarterbacks!

  3. UKfanforlife
    8:18 am September 22, 2016 Permalink

    Kentucky just needs to win games. Doesn’t matter if they use a scrambling QB or a pocket passer to do so, as long as they win.

    But, to kick a player while he is injured, is just wrong.

  4. Mathlete
    8:27 am September 22, 2016 Permalink

    Honestly, the ground game is probably better suited to what we’re trying to do. Keeping it on the ground helps control the clock which benefits us greatly; fewer possessions = fewer opportunities for our defense to give up points. Our offense needs to execute consistently, but it helps mask a lot of our defensive deficiencies when their offense spends a lot more game time on the sidelines.

  5. footballismylife
    8:45 am September 22, 2016 Permalink

    Let’s look at the bigger picture. First, last season anytime the Cats got a lead our coaching staff went into a “play not to lose” play calling mode. You know…..Run on first and second downs and pass on third. No offense in ANY league can succeed using the Football For Dummies Playbook and this years staff seems,to have picked up right where last years left off. Look at the stats this article posts; secod half attempts are minimal. Second, our offensive line is a porous sieve. Barker got killed in the Florida game. Until we can get 4 & 5 star linemen that that are juniors and seniors, UK QBs will either be injured or running for their lives. Third, our defense is horrible. We aren’t at the bottom of the NCAA….. We ARE the bottom. Bottom line? Changing QBs isn’t going to change the results on the field. Yeah, Johnson is talented, but so is Barker. But neither can win in the SEC because our offensive line isn’t SEC calibre. Both the football AND basketball program would be better off if we left the SEC and joined the ACC.

    • BLUEsky
      4:42 pm September 22, 2016 Permalink

      quote: our coaching staff went into a “play not to lose” play calling mode

      Yep. That drives me crazy. I used to be a Miami Dolphin fan back in the Marino day and Shula used to do the same thing. They lost more games playing the pre-vent defense (as it used to be called) than anyone can count.

  6. RealCatsFan
    9:56 am September 22, 2016 Permalink

    Tim Couch is not walking through that door, folks. Andre Woodson is not walking through that door either. No telling when we will have an elite QB again, but we sure could use one. Hopefully Johnson can do the job this year.

  7. satcheluk
    7:54 am September 23, 2016 Permalink

    Interesting how all first halfs other than Florida were quite good to excellent, but every second half was horrendous. That smells like good initial game plan, but complete failure to anticipate adjustments by the D.