CINCINNATI (AP) - Back in his native state, Mike Hartline was as
steady as ever. And, for a change, he got a lot of help from the
guys catching his passes.
The junior quarterback threw two touchdowns - one of them to
former quarterback rival Randall Cobb - while leading Kentucky to a
42-0 victory Saturday afternoon in Michael Haywood's debut as head
coach at Miami (Ohio).
Kentucky left the bluegrass state to play its opener at Paul
Brown Stadium. Brown played at Miami, coached Ohio State to a
national championship, turned the Cleveland Browns into a pro
football power and founded the Cincinnati Bengals, now run by his
A buckeye native had the best time in the Bengals' place.
"I've been waiting," said Hartline, who was 18 of 27 for 222
yards in little more than three quarters. "It's been a long road.
I've been waiting to show that this is a different year for us on
offense. We're not going to go back to where we were last year."
With the offense struggling last year, Hartline briefly lost the
starting job to Cobb, who is now playing receiver. Coach Rich
Brooks put the offense back in the hands of a junior who grew up in
Canton, Ohio, and has an older brother who played at Ohio State.
"Last year, he managed games," Brooks said. "Now, he can win
games. That's a significant change in Mike Hartline's
His former competition had a big game, too. Cobb caught a
27-yard pass for Kentucky's first touchdown. He also took a direct
snap from center and ran 11 yards for a third-quarter touchdown.
The versatile sophomore had seven catches for 96 yards, helping
Kentucky roll to its biggest point total in two years.
"That's what we want to prove to people and to ourselves,"
Cobb said. "A lot of people don't believe we have an offense."
Miami suffered its most lopsided season-opening loss since a
61-0 drubbing at Pittsburgh in 1931.
"It stinks," Miami safety Jordan Gafford said. "But it's a
long season, and we know that. We want so bad to turn this thing
Kentucky needed only one quarter to get a feel for how the
RedHawks would look under Haywood, who was Notre Dame's offensive
coordinator for the last four years. To get prepared, Brooks spent
a lot of time watching Notre Dame video. He warned his team to be
ready for anything.
They saw a little bit of everything, including a fake punt that
worked and a flea-flicker that was intercepted and set up
Kentucky's first touchdown. Hartline's 27-yard pass to Cobb hit the
receiver in stride and got Kentucky in its comfort zone. Hartline's
21-yard pass to Chris Matthews made it 21-0 at halftime.
Kentucky fans were a clear majority in the crowd of 41,037, and
they liked what they saw from Cobb and company. The receivers
bumbled last season - Brooks was being kind when he called their
performance "less than impressive" - but they looked good during
summer workouts. With Hartline getting plenty of time to throw, the
receivers had little trouble getting open or catching the ball.
"We had some players who made catches and made plays on the
ball," Brooks said. "We had as many good catches as we had in
five or six games total last season."
There were a lot of highlights in Kentucky's most lopsided
victory in seven years and its first shutout since 1996. Cornerback
Trevard Lindley returned an interception 25 yards for his second
career touchdown. The only down moment came in the first quarter,
when center Marcus Davis broke his left ankle. He'll need
Haywood saw firsthand what he's up against in rebuilding a
program known as the Cradle of Coaches. A pair of 2-10 seasons in
the past three years prompted Miami to do something it hadn't done
in more than a half-century: Hire someone with no ties to the
The RedHawks started four true freshmen and got pushed around.
They wasted their only scoring chance, a 34-yard field goal attempt
by Trevor Cook that was wide left.
KENTUCKY 42, MIAMI (OHIO) 0
Kentucky 0 21 14 7-42
Miami (Ohio) 0 0 0 0- 0
Ky-R.Cobb 27 pass from Hartline (Seiber kick), 11:28.
Ky-Locke 16 run (Seiber kick), 6:50.
Ky-Matthews 21 pass from Hartline (Seiber kick), 1:55.
Ky-R.Cobb 11 run (Seiber kick), 11:30.
Ky-Lindley 25 interception return (Seiber kick), 7:28.
Ky-Allen 9 run (Seiber kick), 13:58.
First downs 29 10
Rushes-yards 49-245 22-62
Passing 243 126
Comp-Att-Int 20-31-0 13-34-2
Return Yards 105 27
Punts-Avg. 4-44.5 10-36.9
Fumbles-Lost 2-0 1-0
Penalties-Yards 3-20 5-40
Time of Possession 36:25 23:35
RUSHING-Kentucky, Locke 8-61, Allen 8-57, C.Williams 10-39,
A.Smith 7-36, Russell 7-30, R.Cobb 1-11, Hartline 3-11, Nance 1-4,
Grinter 2-2, Team 1-(minus 1), Fidler 1-(minus 5). Miami (Ohio),
Bratton 7-37, Merriweather 5-12, R.Kennedy 1-9, Rogers 2-3, Green 2-2,
Raudabaugh 5-(minus 1).
PASSING-Kentucky, Hartline 18-27-0-222, Fidler 2-3-0-21,
Neloms 0-1-0-0. Miami (Ohio), Raudabaugh 13-34-2-126.
RECEIVING-Kentucky, R.Cobb 7-96, Matthews 4-57, Drake 2-37,
Lanxter 2-6, Correll 1-15, Bogue 1-12, McCaskill 1-8, Adeyemi 1-6,
Melillo 1-6. Miami (Ohio), Rogers 6-56, Givens 4-37, Woods 1-19,
Eu.Harris 1-9, Green 1-5.