'The Boss' may motivate Kentucky vs. Dores

Mark Stoops is the undisputed leader of the Kentucky football program, but the Wildcats may have some incentive from another “Boss” when they play host to Vanderbilt on Saturday.

Kentucky sophomore quarterback Patrick Towles said following Tuesday’s practice that a Bruce Springsteen concert he attended in November of 2012 has given him some extra motivation as the Cats try to end a three-game losing streak to the Commodores.

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Asked what he remembers from the last time Vanderbilt came to Lexington – a 40-0 win by the Commodores that may have established a new low point in the modern history of the UK football program and ultimately led to the dismissal of former head coach Joker Phillips – Towles explained how the concert at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville the following night let him know just how far the program had sunk.

“It sucked,” Towles said of the game in which he split reps at quarterback and completed just 8 of 23 pass attempts with a crowd generously estimated at 18,000 in the stands at Commonwealth Stadium.

“I remember being at a concert that night, and somebody sitting to my left was like, ‘Gosh, Kentucky really did not play well yesterday. They didn’t score.’ I was sitting right next to him, and he had no idea (who Towles was) and it just wasn’t good. It wasn’t good.”

As for the concert itself?

“It was a blast,” Towles said.

Towles noted that his version of the fellow concert-goer’s description of the Cats was toned down considerably from what he heard that night.

In fact, UK has plenty of additional incentive against the Commodores, who have outscored the Cats 100-14 in the last three meetings. Towles, who redshirted last season, did not play in Vandy's 22-6 win over the Cats in Nashville, a game in which the Dores angered Stoops & Co. by tacking on an additional touchdown pass with 47 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter with the outcome already decided.

“But we’re way past that,” Towles said. “We are miles ahead of that, miles past that, and we’re going to go do everything we can to win this game on Saturday.”

Asked how bad Kentucky (2-1, 0-1 SEC) needs a league win to validate the progress in the program, Towles said: “We just need a win. We’ve got that bad taste in our mouth from (a 36-30 triple-overtime loss in) Gainesville. We’re working every day so we do get that win. An SEC win is important. We haven’t had one in a while. But that’s going to come.”

UK’s last SEC win came in November of 2011, a 10-7 win over Tennessee at Commonwealth Stadium.

Towles enters Saturday’s game against Vanderbilt (1-3, 0-2 SEC) as the No. 3 passer in the SEC through four weeks at 305 yards per game.

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