His steady hand, though in a losing effort, was back on Saturday against Mississippi State.
"I really just went after it," Towles said. "There was kind of a whole timidness down in Baton Rouge with the whole offense that was absent today. We ran into a really, really good football team who's going to win a lot of football games."
That football team - which happens to be ranked No. 1 in the country -- was too much for Kentucky to handle, in spite of a valiant effort by the Wildcats. In a back and forth battle that saw the Bulldogs (7-0, 4-0 Southeastern Conference) deliver multiple blows likely to spell the end for UK, the Cats (5-3, 2-3 SEC) kept battling back before falling, 45-31.
"We got beat by a better football team," head coach Mark Stoops said. "Give Mississippi State credit. They're a very good, strong, tough football team. Deserving of the No. 1 ranking that they have. I appreciate our team's effort. We did not play well enough to win, to beat the No. 1 team in the country."
Whether Towles played well enough individually to beat the No. 1 team in the country is up for debate.
His statistics were eye-popping. Combining his 390 yards passing, 76 yards rushing and one reception for 11 yards, Towles had a hand in all but 27 of the 504 yards the Cats gained in playing what Neal Brown called his signal caller's best game.
"Patrick competed," Brown said. "He competed. Really excited about how he raised his level. He's had two weeks where--Monroe he played so-so, last week not very well and to bounce back against the No. 1 team in the country."
He also did against the player many consider to be the frontrunner for the Heisman Trophy.
Towles, at least in the box score, out-produced Mississippi State's Dak Prescott with 477 total yards, four touchdowns and zero turnovers to his counterpart's 304 total yards, three touchdowns and one interception, though he was hardly concerned about that.
"I'm worried about the defense and our defense is worried about him," Towles said. "I was worried about winning the football game and we didn't get that done."
Towles was hell-bent on leading his team to a win, and every fan among the 64,791 in attendance at Commonwealth Stadium could see it plainly.
"It's a mindset you have to have every game: Go out there, do everything you can to win," Towles said. "Whatever Coach Brown or Coach Stoops asks of me, it's my job to do whatever I can to win the football game."
On this night, Towles was called on to carry the load not only in the passing game, but also as a runner. Disregarding the 47 yards he lost on six sacks, Towles ran 17 times for 123 yards and two touchdowns as UK's backs were able to find little room against the defensive front seven Brown called the best the Cats have faced all season.
"We got some good looks, good ideas watching their film," Towles said of his role in the run game. "They're kind of susceptible to it and those looks kind of carried over, obviously, to the game. So it worked early so we kept doing it."
In the passing game, Towles showed no signs of wear from the hits he took running the ball. He completed 24-of-43 passes for a career-high 390 yards and two touchdowns, including a couple plays that made his offensive coordinator's jaw drop.
"There's some 'wow' throws," Brown said. "That throw he threw to Javess Blue, that's a wow throw. ... He's got big-time arm talent."
The pass to Blue was certainly worthy of a "wow."
After Mississippi State scored with 4:44 left in the third quarter to claim a 31-17 lead, Towles dropped back three plays later and delivered a strike that traveled more than 40 yards in the air and his Blue in stride, leading to a 58-yard touchdown.
"We got a good look," Towles said. "The safety rotated wide and Javess was able to split them. I put out there and he was able to run under it."
Drops were an issue at times for UK's wideouts, but they made plenty of plays for Towles too, perhaps most notably one that came in the first quarter.
Down 7-0, Towles threw downfield to Demarco Robinson along the right sideline. In one motion, the senior jumped to snare the ball and shook two defenders before sprinting for a 67-yard score. All the while, he tip-toed the out-of-bounds line so closely the officials had to review the play to make sure he stayed in.
"Great play," Towles said. "Great play after the catch. I kind of threw him a little bit too far inside. He made two people miss and took off. He's a great player. We're lucky to have him."
Towles had plenty of big plays in him the rest of the way, but he never could get the Cats over the top.
Once in the third quarter and again in the fourth, UK took over trailing by only a touchdown after a defensive stop. The two drives were the Cats' only two three-and-outs of the second half.
"We just didn't make plays," Towles said. "That's the whole thing tonight. We got opportunities to make plays but we didn't."
Even after a career night, Towles was hard on himself. Along those same lines, Brown took encouragement from the fact that there were simple ways Towles could have played better.
"He was a decision here, a decision there from having a really big day," Brown said. "And the thing that's he's gotta learn is--and listen I'm proud of him, this is the best he's played so I'm nitpicking here, but he's gotta take what's easy. Take what's easy and not try to force the big play."
If Towles and the Cats improve the way they know they can, they might come away the victor the next time UK plays in a high-profile matchup such as this one. For now, the Cats will have to take some solace in the way they bounced back from that LSU loss.
"We knew that we could play with anybody in the country," Towles said. "I'm not sure the country knew that we could play with anybody in the country, but we fought like knew we would."
By no means is that enough.
"It's nice to see the improvement, for sure, but we're not happy with the way the game came out," Towles said. "We're in the business of winning football games, not competing in football games. So we'll get better and we'll get after Missouri on Saturday."