Kentucky Sports

Kentucky QB Towles leaves behind distraction of social media

UK QB Patrick Towles watches from the sideline after Florida scored its first touchdown during the first quarter of the University of Kentucky-Florida football game at Commonwealth Stadium in Lexington, Ky., on Saturday, September 19, 2015. Photo by Ken Weaver
UK QB Patrick Towles watches from the sideline after Florida scored its first touchdown during the first quarter of the University of Kentucky-Florida football game at Commonwealth Stadium in Lexington, Ky., on Saturday, September 19, 2015. Photo by Ken Weaver Ken Weaver

Patrick Towles knows he didn’t have his best performance on Saturday night against Florida.

He sees it on game tape. He hears about it as he walks across campus.

But he’s decided not to let the negativity linger in his pocket.

The Kentucky quarterback has taken Twitter, Facebook and Instagram off of his phone for now.

“I don’t need it,” he said Tuesday, a few days after he completed just 33.3 percent of his passes and passed for a career-low 126 yards against the Gators. “I’m moving forward.”

Just a quick perusal of Towles’ Twitter mentions includes dozens of negative comments about his hair, a fan demanding that he “forfit” his starting spot to Drew Barker, a comment that the junior quarterback “never fails to disappoint.”

Towles said he hasn’t seen any of them. He actually wiped his phone clean of social media the day before the Florida game: “I don’t need it. Good and bad stuff, it’s all noise.”

Drowning out the negative voices in his head has been difficult, Towles said. He took the loss and the continuation of the 29-game losing streak to the Gators badly.

“It’s hard to move past that one,” he said. “That one’s going to sting, sting for a little bit. I’m probably not past it, still thinking about it, but we’ve got a big one on Saturday that we’re excited for.”

Towles knows there’s plenty of criticism out there, but he’s tried to surround himself with the constructive kind.

“You’ve just gotta have a couple people that you listen to and you don’t listen to anybody else,” Towles said. “That’s what I’m trying to do.”

One of the people the quarterback is listening to is offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson, who noted that quarterbacks get way too much credit when a team wins and way too much criticism when things go poorly.

“That’s just the nature of the position,” Dawson said. “We’ve got 11 guys out there that have to do their job, collectively. So we’ve gotta get better as a group. Not just one person. Does he have to play better? Yes. He has to play better.”

When he met with the offensive players to start prep for Missouri this week, he told all of them to take a look in the mirror.

“Point your finger at yourself,” Dawson said he told them. “Look at what you could’ve done to change the game, not what somebody else could’ve done. And that’s the way you’ve gotta view it.”

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