UK FOOTBALL | Stoops passionately defends Patrick Towles during weekly radio show
10/06/2015 05:29 PM
LEXINGTON — It wasn’t Terrell Owens but Mark Stoops who was passionately defending his starting quarterback late Monday night.
On his weekly radio show, Stoops addressed a caller’s complaint about not seeing backup quarterback Drew Baker take some snaps when Kentucky trailed by as many as 14 points in the second half against Eastern Kentucky on Saturday at Commonwealth Stadium, calling the gripe “fair criticism” while issuing a strong vote of confidence in starter Patrick Towles.
“Patrick is our starting quarterback,” Stoops said without hesitation. “Some day, when Drew’s our starting quarterback, he’s going to want that same support from me.”
The decision to stick with Towles paid off in the end, with UK scoring 21 unanswered points (including two touchdown passes from Towles to wide receiver Dorian Baker) to escape with a 34-27 overtime victory.
“If I pull [Towles] too early, maybe we lose that game,” Stoops said. “There’s probably a high probability we do lose that game just because it’s [Barker’s] first snaps and all those things.”
Towles finished the game passing for a season-high 329 yards and four total touchdowns against the Colonels, including an impressive 19/23 for 208 yards and three touchdowns in the second half alone.
The comeback victory improved UK’s record to 4-1 on the season while also extending a school record of five consecutive games decided by eight points or less.
“I wish [Barker] had some snaps,” Stoops explained. “But I can’t look at the game in any of these first five games and tell you what possession we had in any one of those games that wasn’t absolutely critical. Every possession is critical in these games. They’ve been very close.”
KSTV discussed Stoops’ confidence in Towles on Tuesday’s show, explaining why it was the right decision to leave him in the game vs. EKU and keep him as the starter going forward: