Another week down and another good experience watching the Wildcats at Commonwealth Stadium.
The Kentucky Wildcats took it is Norfolk State as they came away with the 38-3 win, but there was one things that was evident.
There was clearly a difference between when Mike Hartline and when Randall Cobb were in the game under center. Mike Hartline is a little more one dimensional in that you know when the ball is in his hands he is going to stay in the pocket and look for the open man. He has little scramble ability, but can if he needs to elude defenders.
Cobb on the other hand can run if he needs to and can most certainly throw the ball. One play that is a good example of both was the play to open up the second half. Cobb was able to use his legs to roll out to his left and then just flung one in there about 25 yards to Kyrus Lanxter with ease.
Cobb showed his mobility right from the get go, when on his first drive, he took it to the house on an 18 yard touchdown run. Now if somehow you are still not certain how the offense is different with the two QB's in, well, I talked with Dicky Lyons after the game on Saturday and he told me that when Hartline is under center the offensive scheme is to line up more in the box. When Cobb is in the game, the offense is more spread. There could be two reasons for this.
1. Spreading the offense allows Cobb to use his arm to get the ball to the open receivers.
2. If the offense is spread and a play breaks down, Cobb has plenty of room to run the ball.
If you want to compare the numbers. Both QB's were decent, but Cobb was more excitable.
Hartline: 9-15 for 60 yards, 3 rushing attempts for 2 yards
Cobb: 6-11 87 yards, 1TD, 1INT, 8 rushes for 49 yards and 2 TDs
Both quarterbacks are still adjusting to the game and things will slow down for both of them. But the one thing that both of these QBs do well right now is controlling the game. They both understand the offense and can control the game under center.
Oh, before I forget. As I was walking back from the press box and onto the field right before the start of the second half, I noticed that Mike Hartline was back in the game and that he was going to start the second half. Well, I was not the only one who noticed he was in the game. The other 68,000 fans at the game saw this and absolutely erupted into one loud boo. Rich Brooks was not pleased at all with the booing from the home crowd at Commonwealth. "It makes me sick to my stomach" were his exact words. I'd have to agree. Whether or not you think Cobb is the better quarterback, the fact remains that the Cats were up going into the second half. Hartline is a young QB just like Cobb trying to get a handle of the offense, and its your team, and they are playing well. There was no need to boo Hartline, but its sports, and it happens. I mean I got booed walking into Papa Johns Stadium, lol. Fans in Kentucky are harsh!!!
Anyways, the defense was still good in this one, again not allowing a touchdown. The last time the Wildcats did no allow a touchdown in their first two game was way back in 1958. Those were against Hawaii (for sure!!) and Georgia Tech. The last time the Cats did not give up an offensive touchdown in back to back game was in 1993 against Vanderbilt and East Carolina.
Not a bad performance from the Cats. The offense is still coming along, and the defense is showing that they have major play making ability.