LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - Randall Cobb wore No. 12 as a tribute to
his injured mentor, Dicky Lyons Jr. Considering what he did with
that number on his back Saturday, he may not give it back.
Mike Hartline threw two fourth-quarter touchdown passes to Cobb,
the man pushing him for the starting quarterback job, lifting
Kentucky to a 21-20 comeback win over Arkansas.
Kentucky (5-2, 1-2 Southeastern Conference) spent much of the
game struggling to find a playmaker to replace Lyons, out for the
season because of torn ligaments in his right knee. But Cobb, who
decided to wear Lyons' number before the game, did his best
impersonation of the senior receiver when it mattered.
"I maybe want to keep No. 12," Lyons said. "But honestly, I
don't think we played good enough to win. We didn't do much aside
from those last two scores."
They were all that was needed, though.
Kentucky trailed the whole game until Hartline connected with
Cobb from 21 yards out with just over 2 minutes left. Cobb cut
through the middle of the field untouched and Lones Seiber's extra
point was good, giving the Wildcats that final one-point margin.
Cobb, the backup quarterback, is a fan favorite to take over
from Hartline under center. And although he got a few snaps at
quarterback, his play at receiver boosted the Wildcats most.
A few minutes before catching the winning score, he ran in from
32 yards out, and a Kentucky passing game that had been dormant
most of the year showed life.
"I think a lot of us don't know how to feel right now,"
Hartline said. "With five minutes left, a lot of us thought it was
over. It's a hectic time right now. My emotions are going crazy."
Marcus McClinton's interception in the final seconds allowed the
Wildcats to run out the clock.
"Saying we gave the game away is an understatement," Arkansas
center Jonathon Luigs said. "We had them right where we wanted
them, had them where they were about to quit. Somehow they found
their way back in the game. It's a tough one to swallow."
The loss for Arkansas (3-4, 1-3) was the first against the
Wildcats for Petrino, the former Louisville coach who had beaten
his onetime in-state rival four straight times with the Cardinals.
"That's a hard one on us," Petrino said. "We had a lot of
chances to win that football game."
Hartline completed 17 of 32 passes for 239 yards, three
touchdowns and two interceptions. Besides Cobb, he also connected
with Alfonso Smith for a 71-yard score on the Wildcats' longest
play of the season.
Smith and Cobb each had five catches.
The comeback ruined a huge performance by Arkansas' Michael
Smith, who scored twice and had a career-high 192 rushing yards
before leaving with an apparent concussion. After toiling two years
behind first-round NFL draft picks Darren McFadden and Felix Jones,
Smith has distinguished himself as the pair's successor against
some of the SEC's top defenses.
Coming into the game, Kentucky had been stingy against the run,
allowing just one rushing score all year. But Smith put a quick end
to that with a 2-yard spin into the end zone.
On the next drive, Smith flashed his breakaway speed with a
51-yard sprint through the middle of the field. He showed similar
abilities as a receiver before halftime, reeling in a pass from
Casey Dick in the flat and taking it 23 yards untouched make it
For the first time all year, Kentucky won a game with offense,
not its potent defense.
In the first 20 minutes of the second half, Kentucky ran just
six plays. Other than that, Arkansas chewed up clock with a
combination of its running game and several costly Kentucky
penalties and mistakes. The Razorbacks only had two field goals to
show for it.
"This obviously didn't go to script," Kentucky coach Rich
Arkansas 7 7 3 3-20
Kentucky 0 0 7 14-21
Ark-Mic.Smith 2 run (Haddock kick), 8:09.
Ark-Mic.Smith 22 pass from C.Dick (Haddock kick), 1:15.
Ark-FG Haddock 19, 9:45.
Ky-A.Smith 71 pass from Hartline (Seiber kick), 8:50.
Ark-FG Haddock 23, 10:00.
Ky-R.Cobb 32 pass from Hartline (Seiber kick), 4:15.
Ky-R.Cobb 21 pass from Hartline (Seiber kick), 2:21.
First downs 21 15
Rushes-yards 51-236 28-88
Passing 94 284
Comp-Att-Int 11-29-2 19-35-2
Return Yards 77 22
Punts-Avg. 6-34.3 4-43.3
Fumbles-Lost 2-2 5-2
Penalties-Yards 13-102 5-53
Time of Possession 36:01 23:59
RUSHING-Arkansas, Mic.Smith 35-192, C.Dick 7-28, Curtis 9-16.
Kentucky, Allen 7-46, Locke 9-34, A.Smith 3-6, Dixon 1-5, Conner 1-1,
Hartline 2-1, R.Cobb 3-(minus 2), Team 2-(minus 3).
PASSING-Arkansas, C.Dick 11-29-2-94. Kentucky,
Hartline 17-32-2-239, R.Cobb 2-3-0-45.
RECEIVING-Arkansas, Mic.Smith 3-33, Adams 2-24, Crawford 2-21,
Davie 2-14, Salters 1-5, C.Dick 1-(minus 3). Kentucky, A.Smith 5-108,
R.Cobb 5-73, McCaskill 3-30, Adeyemi 2-18, Drake 1-37, Allen 1-9,
Locke 1-6, Ford 1-3.