The announcement Monday by Lexington Catholic quarterback star Beau Allen that he will play college football at the University of Kentucky means more than a continuance of Mark Stoops’ recent class of 2020 recruiting momentum.
Last season at Catholic, the 6-foot-2, 200-pound Allen threw for 3,729 yards and 42 touchdowns while completing 65.3 percent of his throws. Allen, the son of late-1980s UK QB Bill Allen and wife Ingrid, also ran for 740 yards and eight TDs as a high school junior.
As an in-state quarterback at UK, Allen will have a chance to alter some significant football benchmarks set by previous homegrown Wildcats QBs.
1.) No in-state quarterback has thrown for more than 300 yards in a game for UK since: Sept. 3, 2016.
In Kentucky’s 44-35 season-opening loss to Southern Mississippi, Wildcats quarterback Drew Barker (Conner High School) completed 15 of 24 passes for 323 yards and four touchdowns.
That performance proved to be the high point of Barker’s star-crossed UK career. A back injury knocked him out for the year in the season’s third game and unheralded junior college transfer Stephen Johnson inherited and held the Kentucky starting quarterback position through the following season.
Barker gave up his final season of college eligibility in 2018 to concentrate on graduate school.
2.) No in-state quarterback has directed Kentucky to a victory over a ranked team since: Sept. 26, 2015.
Patrick Towles (Highlands) completed 22 of 27 passes for 249 yards and two touchdowns and ran for a third TD to lead Kentucky to a 21-13 upset of No. 25 Missouri at the venue then known as Commonwealth Stadium.
It was the first victory over a team in the Associated Press Top 25 of the Mark Stoops coaching era and the first for UK since Randall Cobb and Co. upset No. 10 South Carolina in 2010.
3.) No in-state quarterback has directed Kentucky to a victory in a bowl game since: Dec. 31, 2007.
Andre Woodson (North Hardin) hit on 32 of 50 passes for 358 yards and four touchdowns to pace Kentucky over Florida State 35-28 in the 2007 Music City Bowl.
It was the second straight season Woodson led the Cats to a victory in the Music City Bowl, following a 28-20 victory over Clemson in 2006.
With the win over FSU, Woodson joined UK icon Babe Parilli (winner of 1951 Sugar Bowl and 1952 Cotton Bowl) as the only Kentucky starting quarterbacks with multiple bowl victories.
4.) No quarterback from the city of Lexington has started a game for Kentucky since: Nov. 27, 2004.
In his final game in a UK uniform, Shane Boyd (Henry Clay) threw for 218 yards and two touchdowns as NCAA probation-ravaged Kentucky came agonizingly close to upsetting No. 15 Tennessee at Neyland Stadium before falling 37-31 in the 2004 season finale.
Current UK redshirt sophomore-to-be quarterback Walker Wood (Lafayette) has a shot to beat Allen to this distinction.
5.) No in-state quarterback has directed Kentucky to a win over Alabama since: Oct. 4, 1997.
Tim Couch (Leslie County) threw for 355 yards and four touchdowns, including a 26-yard scoring toss to Craig Yeast in overtime that gave UK a 40-34 upset of the No. 20 Crimson Tide.
At UK, Allen will presumably get one regular-season shot at Alabama. The Tide is slated to visit Kroger Field during the 2023 season.
6.) No in-state quarterback has directed Kentucky to a win over Tennessee since: Nov. 24, 1984.
Bill Ransdell (Elizabethtown) completed 15 of 30 passes for 158 yards and led UK to a 17-12 victory at Neyland Stadium.
The victory would stand as the most recent Kentucky win over Tennessee by any quarterback until wide receiver-turned-QB Matt Roark directed the Cats to a 10-7 win over UT in 2011.
7.) No in-state quarterback has directed Kentucky over Tennessee in Lexington since: Nov. 21, 1959.
Lowell Hughes (Prestonsburg) completed two of five passes for nine yards and ran once for four yards but was credited in the Sunday Herald-Leader for doing “a fine job of mixing up the plays” in UK’s 20-0 whitewash of Tennessee in the 1959 regular-season finale.
A crowd of 38,000 fans, at the time the largest ever to see a college football game in Lexington, witnessed what was UK’s sixth win over UT in seven years.