Mark Story

Seven ways in-state QB recruit Beau Allen can make his mark at Kentucky

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.

Kentucky Coach Mark Stoops walked with Lexington Catholic quarterback Beau Allen before UK's spring football game last month. Allen gave the Wildcats a verbal commitment Monday for the 2020 class. Alex Slitz

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.

Drew Barker
The best game of Drew Barker's star-crossed Kentucky career came in the 2016 season opener against Southern Mississippi. Charles Bertram

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.

Patrick Towles vs Missouri.JPG
Kentucky quarterback Patrick Towles (14) ran for one touchdown and threw for two more to lead UK to a 21-13 upset of No. 25 Missouri in 2015. Herald-Leader

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.

Andre Woodson at 2007 MCB
Kentucky quarterback Andre Woodson was greeted at the Cat Walk by some of the thousands of UK fans who swelled attendance at the 2007 Music City Bowl to 68,661. The Cats defeated Florida State 35-28. Lexington Herald-Leader file photo

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.

Shane Boyd at Tennessee.JPG
No Lexington product has started a game for the University of Kentucky at quarterback since Henry Clay alum Shane Boyd directed the Wildcats in a 37-31 loss at Tennessee in the 2004 season finale. DAVID STEPHENSON LEXINGTON HERALD-LEADER

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.

Tim Couch.JPG
Tim Couch led Kentucky to its most recent victory over Alabama, a 40-34 overtime win in 1997. MARK CORNELISON LEXINGTON HERALD-LEADER

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.

Bill Ransdell.JPG
Bill Ransdell quarterbacked Kentucky to a 17-12 victory at Tennessee in 1984. The Elizabethtown product is shown here leading UK to a 10-3 win over Florida in 1986. TOM WOODS II LEXINGTON HERALD-LEADER

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.

Blanton Collier with Lou Michaels.JPG
In 1959, Blanton Collier, right, coached Kentucky to its sixth win over Tennessee in seven years, a 20-0 whitewashing of the Volunteers before a crowd of 38,000 fans in Lexington.


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Mark Story has worked in the Lexington Herald-Leader sports department since Aug. 27, 1990, and has been a Herald-Leader sports columnist since 2001. I have covered every Kentucky-Louisville football game since 1994, every UK-U of L basketball game but three since 1996-97 and every Kentucky Derby since 1994.