Brooks Not Surprised Cats Underdog Sunday

Consecutive bowl victories and an
experienced defense hasn't seemed to make believers out of the
oddsmakers when it comes to Kentucky.
The Wildcats have been listed as an underdog for Sunday's annual
Governor's Cup at Louisville, even though the Wildcats beat their
rivals last season. Kentucky coach Rich Brooks said he understands
the doubts, even though he feels he has the most talented team in
his six seasons with the Wildcats.
"I've been the underdog most of my life, so it's a role that
I'm very familiar with," Brooks said Monday before a university
event in Louisville. "Do I like it? I'd rather be a clear-cut
favorite."
Brooks pointed to Louisville's home record of 50-11 over the
last decade and the potential of quarterback Hunter Cantwell as
reasons the Wildcats are the underdog.
"You look at their home record, you look at Cantwell and his
experience at the position, it's understandable," Brooks said.
The Wildcats aren't nearly as experienced at quarterback, though
Brooks said he's been encouraged by the play of sophomore Mike
Hartline, who was named the starter after Curtis Pulley was
dismissed earlier this month for a violation of team rules.
"Like all quarterbacks and all positions, he's done a few
things I haven't liked during practices and scrimmages but he's
also done somethings I do like," Brooks said. "It's all about
playing the game and see who is going to make those decisions when
it counts."
Though Hartline will start, there's a chance freshman Randall
Cobb could see spot duty at quarterback. Cobb played quarterback in
high school and was planning on moving to receiver until Pulley's
dismissal. He's been splitting time at both positions during camp.
"There's no plan," Brooks said. "He'll play at receiver and
maybe punt returner. Whether he'll play at quarterback and how much
he'll play, that remains to be seen. For being a freshman, I'd say
he's picked (up the offense) very well, but that doesn't mean he
has a total grasp of it."
Louisville coach Steve Kragthorpe said the Cardinals are
practicing as if Cobb will split snaps with Hartline during the
game.


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