That call on Lynn Bowden was simply awful, but Mark Stoops did his best to make a worse call vs. EKU.
Stoops did so by sending Drew Barker in at quarterback early in the second quarter. He made this decision with Stephen Johnson actually being one of, if not the only bright spot for the Cats. Johnson completed seven of his first nine passes for 30 yards while running for 23 yards on just two carries.
But for some reason, Stoops felt Barker needed to come in with UK trailing 7-3. Shockingly, Barker wasn’t exactly on point in his first game action since Week 3 of the 2016 season.
In three plays, the offense gained one yard, and Barker took a sack on 3rd down before UK punted back to EKU, who proceeded to go right down the field and take a 14-3 lead.
Stoops didn’t think Barker got enough of a chance, so he sent Barker in for the next series. UK went three and out again as Barker again took a sack on 3rd down.
The decision to play Drew Barker makes no sense to me. Why take away momentum from your starting QB?— Joe Mussatto (@joe_mussatto) September 9, 2017
So why is Drew Barker in? As if Johnson was the problem. What in the world is the coaching staff thinking?— Stu Hammer (@Stuart_Hammer) September 9, 2017
Just when you thought you'd seen every video of Drew Barker getting mauled by the EKU Football team, today happened— FakeBarneyKSR (@FakeBarneyKSR) September 9, 2017
I don't understand putting Drew Barker in right there...what does that accomplish except stirring needless controversy? Johnson was 7-9— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) September 9, 2017
Barker absolutely needed to play today to test health before SEC play, but to do it now seems like a bad decision to me.— Jon Hale (@JonHale_CJ) September 9, 2017
If Johnson isn’t hurt, what does bringing in Drew Barker accomplish right now other than drama?— Tyler Thompson (@MrsTylerKSR) September 9, 2017
Don't understand the Drew Barker decision! He's proven nothing, Johnson has proven EVERYTHING he needed to earn that spot! #BBN— Bradley Stevenson (@bss1974) September 9, 2017
Didn't benefit Barker.— Scott Charlton (@Scott_Charlton) September 9, 2017
Didn't benefit Johnson.
Didn't benefit the team.
Oh, and once Johnson came back in, he led UK on a touchdown drive, ending with a 23-yard score to C.J. Conrad.
Stephen Johnson with a beautiful strike to C.J. Conrad for the TD. pic.twitter.com/mSKhErMYt0— Scott Charlton (@Scott_Charlton) September 9, 2017
Stephen Johnson to Mark Stoops at halftime pic.twitter.com/RQHrrACG0E— Jason Marcum (@marcum89) September 9, 2017