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Kaleb Barker Starring for Troy

By BJ Bennett
SouthernPigskin.com
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Overall, Kaleb Barker is in rare company across the country.

Kaleb Barker is one of the hottest quarterbacks in all of college football. Troy's talented senior signal caller is on a remarkable four-game streak, with his latest effort coming with the context of an historical standard. Barker was exceptional in the Trojans' win at Texas State over the weekend, completing 30-of-43 passes for 363 yards, six touchdowns and zero interceptions. His half-dozen scores, five of which came in the first half, tied a program record, with his team's 63 points standing as the most in a Sun Belt game.

For frame of reference with Barker's latest performance, only three quarterbacks this season have won games with at least 360 passing yards, 69% completions and six passing touchdowns: Joe Burrow, Tua Tagovailoa and Barker. In fact, the last five players to accomplish that feat against FBS competition before Barker were Burrow, Tagovailoa, Gardner Minshew, Dwayne Haskins and Kyler Murray.

Going back to late October, Barker, for the cardinal-clad, has been absolutely on fire. He, over Troy's past four games, is 117-of-164, 71.3% passing, for 1,499 yards, with 14 touchdowns and one interception, also adding a rushing score. Barker's last month has been one of the most productive stretches in recent memory. Troy has averaged 45 points per game in that span. Not even including his 421-yard pre-Halloween performance at Georgia State, Barker leads all of college football with 12 touchdown passes for the month of November and ranks second with 1,078 yards passing. 

Overall, Barker is in rare company across the country. Quite impressively, he now ranks in the national top five with both 3,169 passing yards and 30 passing scores alike. Barker, simply for point of reference, has more passing yards and touchdowns than Heisman Trophy candidate Jalen Hurts. 

Both the Sun Belt's single season passing yardage record, at 4,368 yards, and touchdown mark, at 37, is within reach. Barker, leading the league's top scoring offense, is undoubtedly having one of the best years the conference has ever seen.

Off to a start that included 73% passing, 13 total touchdowns and just two interceptions in 2018, Barker's season ended with a mid-season knee injury at Georgia State. He, in rehabbing back, has proved to be one of college football's best. In his first FBS game with new head coach Chip Lindsey, formerly the offensive coordinator at Auburn, Barker threw for a record 504 yards and four touchdowns in a spotlight showing against Southern Miss. He is only adding to a resume that is already one to remember.

Upcoming games with Louisiana and nationally-ranked Appalachian State, two teams that are a combined 17-3, will place Barker squarely in the spotlight. It will be a fitting stage.

Playing his best football as of late, Barker deserves to be talked about as one of the top quarterbacks in the game. Such a distinction is one that he has earned. After Barker's junior prep season was cut short due to injury, he rallied back as a senior to compile the third-most total yards ever in the Alabama High School Athletic Association. This, as he makes similar marks at the college level, is a story we have seen before. It's one that will be featured in media guides for years to come.

BJ Bennett - B.J. Bennett is SouthernPigskin.com's founder and publisher. He is the co-host of "Three & Out" with Kevin Thomas and Ben Troupe on the "Southern Pigskin Radio Network". Email: bj@espncoastal.com / Twitter: @BJBennettSports