On Saturday he showed his talent in broader strokes as he turned in one of the best statistical debuts by a UK starter of the last 20 years.
Towles' 377 yards on 20-of-29 passing with one passing and one rushing touchdown gave him a 189.5 passer rating.
The line was on par with fellow Air Raid signal-callers Dusty Bonner (34-62, 446 yards, 3 TD, 2 INT) and Jared Lorenzen (22-34, 322 yards, 3 TD, 3 INT) in terms of yardage. His performance was certainly better in terms of efficiency.
"I was very pleased with Patrick," Mark Stoops said. "Very happy for him. The big thing was, to me, he was very poised and he made very good decisions. You know, we know he has the talent to get the ball down the field. I think it was important for him to be efficient in the intermediate area and I thought he did that."
And yet Towles' first start will also be compared with his previous Commonwealth Stadium outing.
"Two years ago was kind of a flash in a pan in terms of having a good first series against Mississippi State before getting injured," Towles said. "It was important to come out today and play clean to build a solid foundation for the rest of the season. Two years ago certainly gave me confidence in terms of playing in front of the Commonwealth Stadium crowd."
The drive in 2012 brought an injury-plagued Kentucky team within a touchdown of then-No. 20 Mississippi State, but more importantly showed the Big Blue Nation the hype around a former Gatorade Kentucky High School Player of the Year was justified.
This UK Athletics Department staff member won't forget tending to the CWS press box phone that day and taking calls from every major sports network on such basic questions as, "How do you pronounce Towles?"
But the excitement was quickly tempered.
Towles suffered an ankle injury on the ensuing drive and played sparingly the rest of a 2-10 season.
And then Towles did not play during Mark Stoops' first season at UK. Going into new staff's second season, the redshirt sophomore had to win a quarterback competition over formidable teammates Reese Phillips, Drew Barker and the experienced Maxwell Smith.
After winning the starting job, Towles entered UK's season opener looking to live up to a world of expectations given his performance in camp and his high school pedigree, not to mention the brief moment of brilliance he showed two autumns ago.
Saturday, facing an opponent admittedly not up to the level UK will face in Southeastern Conference play, Towles delivered on what his 2012 cameo appearance promised.
"Y'all know Patrick ... he doesn't lack for confidence, which is a good thing," UK offensive coordinator Neal Brown said. "That's a good thing. He thinks he can make every throw and he thinks he can make every run. That's exactly what you're looking for. I knew he was going to be ready to play."
Towles quarterbacked the UK offense to the fourth-best performance in terms of total offense (656 yards) in school history.
His game featured a 79-yard completion to Demarco Robinson on a first down from his own 13-yard line and a 22-yard touchdown run as highlights.
Towles' offensive coordinator and position coach was confident the player he placed faith in during the preseason would deliver, especially given the way recent practices had gone.
"On Wednesday he had his best practice that's he's probably ever--I know that he's had since I've been coaching, he had his best practice," Brown said. "Decision-making, throwing the ball. I sent him a text that next morning after I watched it and told him that same thing."
But Towles didn't enter the game completely assured of success.
"I was very nervous," Towles said. "I didn't get much sleep last night. I got some sleep, but not as much I would have liked to. I was just ready to go, I wanted to get out there and start playing.
If anything Brown was most impressed by his quarterback's response to adversity. After a turnover on downs to open the game, and some bad decisions early in the second half, Towles showed resilience.
The plays he made in response showed Brown he can depend on his quarterback when the competition gets tougher in coming weeks.
"The most important thing is he came out, first drive of the second half, and made two poor decisions," Brown said. "Made two poor decisions, then he came back the very next series and made two big plays. That's the thing: Bounce back.
"We've had this next-play attitude. That's what we talked about leading up to this game and I told you I preach it to myself more than those guys. But he did. He came out, had a bad series, bounced back, had a real positive series, had a nice run for a touchdown."
Looking back on his first start in a UK jersey, Towles' report card was good. But tougher tests remain.
"I felt like I did well as a whole," the UK starter said. "There were a couple bad decisions that were made by me but as you saw, I did what coach has been wanting me to and that was coming out in the next series and making two good decisions that canceled out my bad ones."
Towles certainly built off his previous CWS appearance on Saturday. The feat is not to be taken lightly given the excitement generated by his previous cameo.
And yet next week's test against a more competitive opponent in Ohio could go a longer way in showing UK's long-term outlook, if not just for the 2014 season.