By LARRY VAUGHT
Record-setting quarterback Tim Couch will join host Tim Estes and myself on WPBK (102.9 FM, wpbkfm.com) Thursday from 7:30-8 a.m.
We’ll have a chance to obviously talk Kentucky football with Couch, but also let him update UK fans on what he’s doing now as well as talking about his family — sons Chase and Brady along with his wife, Heather.
The first time I saw Couch play was when he was a star at Leslie County High School. He set national high school records for most pass completions (872), passing yardage (12,104), touchdown passes (132), and passing percentage for a season (75.1). Couch also scored 3,023 points in basketball and ESPN ranked Couch as the sixth best high school athlete ever.
He eventually signed with Kentucky and coach Bill Curry. Luckily for him, Curry was fired midway of his freshman season when UK was 1-6 and the coach had Couch playing behind Billy Jack Haskins and trying to run the option.
Pass-happy Hal Mumme became the new UK head coach in 1997 and was perfect for Couch. UK upset Alabama in 1997 and in 1998 UK got to seven wins and the Outback Bowl. Kentucky lost to Penn State 26-14 but Couch was 30 of 48 passing for 336 yards and two scores.
He completed 795 of 1,184 passes for 8,435 yards — he threw for 4,275 yards in 1998 — and 74 touchdowns, including a 97-yard score to Craig Yeast against Florida. Couch still holds the NCAA record for completion percentage in one game (minimum of 40 completions) at 83 percent against Vanderbilt (44 of 53) in 1998 and for completions per game (36.4, 400 in 11 games) that same season. He also left Kentucky holding NCAA records for most completions in a season (400 in 1998), most completions in a two-year period (793 in 1997–1998), most completions per game in a two-year period (34.7, 1997–1998) and career completion percentage (67.1).
Couch left UK after his junior season to enter the NFL draft and was the No. 1 overall pick by the expansion Cleveland Browns. He threw for 11,131 yards and 64 touchdowns in five seasons. His best season was 2002 when he led Cleveland to a 9-7 mark by throwing for 2,842 yards and 18 scores. However, he broke his leg in the final regular season game and did not play in the playoff loss to Pittsburgh.
Obviously, I will have to ask Couch about Yeast, his favorite target and a former Harrodsburg standout. I also want to ask him about having current UK offensive line coach John Schlarman in his offensive line during his playing career at Kentucky.
If you have a question you would like us to ask Couch, just let us know.