Patrick Towles won UK job on production

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As we predicted Sunday, Patrick Towles will be Kentucky’s starting quarterback in the Aug. 30 opener against Tennessee-Martin. Head coach Mark Stoops made the announcement via Twitter before the team’s open practice this morning at the Nutter Training Facility.

Here we have videos of both Stoops and offensive coordinator Neal Brown talking about the decision to go with Towles and what the red-shirt sophomore did to win the job.

Word around camp has been that Towles has played well enough to separate himself in the race and Brown indicated that when the staff added up all the factors, the former Highlands star had been the most productive.

Where does this leave Drew Barker? Stoops said he wasn’t ready to make a decision on whether to red-shirt the true freshman out of Conner High School. Barker played well enough during camp to extend the competition and make the staff consider the various options.

Red-shirt freshman Reese Phillips appeared to take the majority of the second-string snaps Monday, but Brown said no decision has been made about a backup just yet.

The staff is focused on Towles, who took the disappointment of being told last year that he would not be in the mix and turned it into a positive experience by using that time to improve.

By the way, Towles was not made available to the media Monday. We were told he would be available for interviews Tuesday.

So now only Alabama, LSU and Vanderbilt have yet to pick a starting quarterback for the 2014 season. Texas A&M picked Kenny Hill over the weekend to succeed Johnny Manziel. Last week, Tennessee picked Justin Worley as the Vols’ starting quarterback for 2014.

Here’s a look at the SEC’s named 2014 starters, with their pass attempts in 2013.

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Photo of Patrick Towles by Mark Cornelison | Herald-Leader.

Related link: Full transcript of Stoops and Brown on QB decision

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