The Kentucky Wildcats are 2-0 and have now won nine of their last 13 games with Stephen Johnson at the helm.
However, Mark Stoops and his staff didn’t think Johnson did enough to entrench himself as the starter this year. That was painfully evident Saturday when Stoops put Drew Barker in vs. EKU with UK trailing 7-3. To that point, Johnson had led UK deep into EKU territory on his first two possessions, but Stoops still felt Barker needed to go in.
After two disastrous drives which netted -6 yards in six plays, Barker went back to the bench with UK trailing 13-3. Johnson would go on to rally UK to a 27-16 win.
Following the win, Stoops explained that the plan was for Barker to go in the game early, and it wasn’t a decision made because of Johnson’s play.
“Yes. We said that we were going to play him on the third series no matter what,” Stoops explained. “We did. We have to. You know, said the same thing last year when Stephen [Johnson] was a backup. You're one play away from playing him. Sure enough, Stephen was playing.
“We had to get Drew back out there and get his confidence up and get him playing and get him some snaps, see what he can do.”
Thankfully, this bad decision by the staff didn’t cost them a win. Against pretty much everyone else on the schedule, it would have.