MEMPHIS — University of Kentucky freshman quarterback Randall Cobb has been ruled out of Friday's Liberty Bowl against East Carolina.
UK Coach Rich Brooks made the announcement following his team's first practice in Memphis on Sunday. Cobb suffered a knee injury in the regular-season finale against Tennessee and underwent arthroscopic surgery shortly thereafter. Brooks said the knee has not healed enough to allow Cobb to play.
"The cartilage (in the knee) has still not healed," Brooks said. "He's still non-weight bearing. The doctors just don't feel like he's ready to go."
Redshirt sophomore Mike Hartline, who started the first eight games of the season before being benched in favor of Cobb, will get the start vs. East Carolina. Hartline has been practicing with the first unit during the bowl preparations and said he's ready to go.
"I've been preparing myself to be the starter the whole time," Hartline said. "Even when Randall was in there starting, I tried to stay ready because I knew I was only one play away. And I've got almost a month of practices under my belt, so I feel really good about everything."
UK quarterbacks coach Randy Sanders is still in Lexington after being hospitalized on Saturday with kidney stones. Brooks said he was hoping for Sanders to be able to arrive in Memphis in time for Monday's practice but wasn't sure if he'd be able to make it.