One half of football: 11-19, 287 yards, 4 TD, 0 INT
1st Play of 2nd Half: 32-yard completion
At that point in the Southern Miss game last year, Drew Barker was 12-20 for 319 yards and 4 touchdowns. And then this play happened:
From that moment Barker attempted to make something out of nothing, he went 6 for 16 for 15 yards, 0 touchdowns and 5 interceptions over the next 2+ games.
That play above led to Southern Miss coming back and stunning Kentucky, a deflated UK team heading to Florida and getting trounced (with Barker getting hurt) and then Barker trying to make it work in the New Mexico State game before throwing an early interception and getting pulled. We haven’t seen him since.
Now, Stephen Johnson emerged as a great leader, winning 7 games and 4 SEC games and in absolutely the starter coming into this year. But you have to wonder if that play doesn’t happen and UK scores on that drive, probably wins that game, what kind of season happens last year? Do you think that UK wins the same amount of games or maybe more? Maybe less? Barker’s injury and UK moving to a run-based offense led to the emergence of Benny Snell. But Johnson didn’t have any half of football anywhere close to Barker’s, even in his great Louisville performance.
Drew Barker’s first half was probably better than any half we’ve seen since Tim Couch. That seems ridiculous but there have not been many 300 yard, 4 touchdown halves by UK quarterbacks since Couch, including Lorenzen and Woodson.
So my question is if the program is in a better, worse, or same place right now if Barker doesn’t fumble that ball away against Southern Miss (and then doesn’t get hurt against Florida). The answer might bring you closer to a decision on how short a leash Stephen Johnson gets this season.