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Kentucky Starting QB Drew Barker Out For "Significant Amount Of Time," Per Mark Stoops

Drew Barker injury update: surgery on the quarterback's injured back is not required, but he'll be out for at least a few weeks.

An already tough season for Kentucky football just took another blow. According to head coach Mark Stoops, the Week 3 Drew Barker injury will cost him a "significant amount of time," but he will not require surgery as of today.

In Kentucky's first three games, Barker has largely struggled.

He is averaging a very solid 9.28 yards per attempt, but has just four touchdown passes and five interceptions, and is only completing 50-percent of his passes. On the year, he is 18-of-36 for 334 yards, most of which came in the Week 1 loss to Southern Miss. He was just 2-of-10 for 10 yards against Florida, with three interceptions, a pretty disastrous performance. He completed 1-of-2 passes for just one yard, and threw a pick against New Mexico State before leaving UK's Week 3 win.

Barker, a sophomore, was a significant recruit for Kentucky, ranking No. 6 in the country among all pro style quarterbacks in the 2014 class, per 247Sports. He was a four-star recruit. He was expected to make a big jump this season, which was a big reason that former Kentucky starter Patrick Towles transferred to Boston College during the off-season.

Backup quarterback Stephen Johnson had a very nice day filling in for Barker in UK's shootout win against New Mexico State. He completed 17-of-22 passes for 310 yards and three touchdowns, and added 51 rushing yards on 10 carries.

According to SEC Country, offensive coordinator Eddie Gran says Johnson is "the guy" going forward for the Wildcats. Kentucky has a big SEC East game against South Carolina this weekend, which is big for both programs, who are looking to claw their way to six wins and stay out of the division basement.

Kentucky hosts South Carolina 7:30 p.m. E.T. at Commonwealth Stadium on Saturday, September 24.