Hartline's senior year stacks up well against ex-UK stars

Hartline producing noble numbers in last year as Cat

Herald-Leader Sports ColumnistOctober 23, 2010 

For most of his career, it seemed as though the University of Kentucky quarterback's legal name was "the much-maligned Mike Hartline." But that was then; this is now.

In his final year wearing UK blue, Hartline has put together a body of work through seven games that compares favorably to his more celebrated predecessors Tim Couch, Jared Lorenzen and Andre Woodson in their final seasons at UK.

ANDRE WOODSON

Senior season: 2007 Team record: 6-1

Numbers: Completed 64.2 percent of his passes (156 of 243) for 1,786 yards with 21 touchdown passes and four interceptions.

Best moment: Fired a 57-yard TD pass — his fourth of the game — to Steve Johnson with 27 seconds left to lift UK over No. 9 Louisville 40-34.

Worst moment: When Kentucky traveled to Columbia to face South Carolina, the Cats carried a top-10 ranking (No. 8) into a game for the first time since 1977. But Woodson lost two fumbles that were returned for Carolina TDs and threw a costly interception in the end zone that ended a UK scoring threat as the Wildcats lost 38-23.

Comment: UK went 30 years without beating a top-10 foe; Woodson and Co. did it twice (No. 9 U of L and No. 1 LSU) in seven games.

JARED LORENZEN

Senior season: 2003 Team record: 3-4

Numbers: Completed 60.7 percent of his passes (94 of 155) for 969 yards with 12 touchdown passes and four interceptions.

Best moment: Fired a pair of TD passes to help UK earn a road victory over Indiana (34-17).

Worst moment: With Kentucky clinging to a 21-16 lead over Florida late in the fourth quarter, Lorenzen threw an ill-advised pass while in the clutches of Gators linebacker Channing Crowder. It went right to Florida cornerback Johnny Lamar, who returned the ball to the UK 1-yard-line. Two plays later, Florida scored the game-winning TD.

Comment: A shotgun passer miscast in the "Kansas State multiple offense" that a new coaching staff brought to Lexington, Lorenzen did not get to go out on a high note.

TIM COUCH

Senior season: 1998 Team record: 5-2

Numbers: Completed 71.4 percent of his passes (252 of 353) for 2,782 yards with 25 touchdown passes and eight interceptions.

Best moment: Upset of No. 21 LSU in Baton Rouge.

Worst moment: Four interceptions against Indiana, albeit in a game UK rallied to win.

Comment: In Hal Mumme's pass-happy attack, Couch had at least three TD throws in six of UK's first seven games (exception being Indiana with one).

MIKE HARTLINE

Senior season: 2010 Team record: 4-3

Numbers: Completed 68.3 percent of his passes (157 of 230) for 1,791 yards with 13 touchdowns and three interceptions.

Best moment: Game-winning TD pass to Randall Cobb with 1:15 left capped a career night in which Hartline threw for 349 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions as UK scored its first-ever victory over a Steve Spurrier-coached team with a 31-28 upset of No. 10 South Carolina.

Worst moment: After going the first three games without throwing an interception, Hartline was picked off twice in The Swamp as Florida beat UK for a 24th straight time, 48-14.

Comment: Having silenced (most of) what had been a legion of critics, it'll be fascinating to see whether Hartline can play the rest of the season at the elevated level he's shown against top-10 foes Auburn (23-for-28) and South Carolina (32-for-42) the past two weeks.

Reach Mark Story at (859) 231-3230 or 1-800-950-6397, ext. 3230, or mstory@herald-leader.com. Your e-mail could appear on the blog Read Mark Story's E-mail at Kentucky.com.

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