When things go wrong, the popular go-to idea is to promote the No. 2 quarterback because the No. 2 quarterback is always the most popular guy on the team and that's what you do when things go wrong, you blame the No. 1 quarterback and you give No. 2 a shot.
Is that the right thing for Kentucky to do, however?
After Saturday's 27-3 loss at Georgia, when quarterback Patrick Towles completed just eight passes and the UK offense failed to score a touchdown, both head coach Mark Stoops and offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson admitted they will take a long look at the quarterback situation.
"In fairness to the team, I think you have to look at everybody," Stoops said.
Neither coach volunteered this information. Stoops was asked if a change might be considered and the head coach said yes. When Dawson was informed of Stoops' comments, he said, "I agree."
That doesn't necessarily mean that after 21 consecutive starts, Towles will be on the sideline during Kentucky's first offensive series at Vanderbilt this Saturday. It doesn't necessarily mean Music City will be the site of redshirt freshman Drew Barker's first collegiate start.
What it means is we might see a change. I think we will. I think Kentucky will plan to play both quarterbacks. Here's why: Vanderbilt's defense.
The Commodores are an anomaly. The Vanderbilt offense has helped the Vanderbilt defense not at all this season. Vandy is 112th nationally out of 127 FBS teams in total offense. On the flip side, the Commodores are 19th in total defense.
Since Vanderbilt head coach Derek Mason took over the defensive coordinator duties himself this season, the Commodores have been tough to deal with on that side of the ball. Despite a 3-6 record, Vandy is 12th nationally in scoring defense, allowing 17.2 points per game.
If you're Stoops/Dawson, do you want your rookie quarterback making his first start against that kind of defense, on the road?
That's why I'd start Towles, even though he's clearly struggling. The junior completed just eight of 21 passes for 96 yards with two interceptions at Georgia. Both interceptions were late throws. His pass efficiency rating was 57.45, his career low as a starter.
Over UK's current four-game losing streak, the former Highlands star has thrown for one touchdown and six interceptions.
Is it all Towles' fault? No. Towles spent a good part of his Athens visit running for his life. His receivers dropped passes. He was also without his best weapon, running back Boom Williams.
Still, you have to wonder about Towles' confidence. When Dawson arrived from West Virginia, the new offensive coordinator emphasized he wanted his quarterback to be calm in the pocket. These days, Towles is anything but. He's hesitant on decisions. He's panicking early. He's not performing like a quarterback confident in his line or confident he can get the job done.
Can Barker get the job done? We don't know. Neither do the fans, who are tired of losing, tired of watching the offense struggle. If we don't know that Barker can succeed, we also don't know that he can't. He was a highly-regarded prospect. He pushed Towles during spring drills and the early part of training camp to the point where Stoops took his time before naming Towles the starter.
I'd give Barker a shot Saturday. I wouldn't start him, but I'd commit to working him into the mix. If Towles struggles early, the sooner we see Barker the better.
"He's not the only one out there," said Dawson on Saturday when talking about his quarterback. "But that guy does make it work."
Right now, it's not working. And with just three games left in a season heading south, Kentucky has to find a way to make it work.