Kentucky freshman Randall Cobb will make his second career start at quarterback when the Wildcats host 14th-ranked Georgia on Saturday.
While Cobb seems to have at least a temporary grip on the starting job, the two-quarterback system isn't going away any time soon.
Sophomore Mike Hartline came off the bench to spell Cobb in the second quarter of UK's 14-13 win over Mississippi State, and UK Coach Rich Brooks said both quarterbacks will continue to see action.
In other words, like it or not, the two-quarterback system is here to stay. And even Brooks said he's not crazy about it.
"I'm not a proponent of the two-quarterback system; never have been," Brooks said. "But as I see it right now, the two-quarterback system is our best opportunity to win games. Depending on who's hot and who's not, one may see more action than the other."
Cobb looked jittery in his first start. He was sacked on his first play from scrimmage and managed just one first down on his first series. A couple of his passes were also high and off target. Cobb attributed the early struggles to nerves.
"I was just nervous and thinking too much," Cobb said. "I was worried about the different defenses, worried about the blitzes. The offensive line was blocking tremendously, I should have just let my guys take care of everything instead of worrying so much."
Brooks and offensive coordinator Joker Phillips went to Hartline on UK's fourth possession, and he responded by leading the Cats to a pair of first downs on each of his first two series. That helped Kentucky establish field position. On the next series, Kentucky got in field-goal range only to see Lones Seiber miss a 34-yarder just before halftime.
Hartline said after the game he knows he has to stay prepared in his new role as a backup.
"I just wanted to come in and provide a spark if I could," Hartline said. "That's the same thing that Randall did when I was starting, and that's what I have to try and do now that he's starting. You have to be ready because even though you're not starting, you never know when the coaches are going to call your number and turn to you."
Cobb went to receiver while Hartline played QB and caught a team-high three passes for 33 yards in the second quarter alone.
"I felt like I got off to a bad start, but I picked things up quick," Cobb said. "When the coaches put Mike in (at quarterback), I went and asked them if they needed me at receiver, and I really think that helped me get in the flow. I felt like I learned a lot being able to feel the atmosphere (as a quarterback) on the first play and in the first quarter."
Brooks and Phillips went back to Cobb to the start the second half. He then led the offense to a pair of TDs, scoring on a 5-yard option keeper and throwing a 3-yard play-action pass to Maurice Grinter
Cobb said he won't be looking over his shoulder against Georgia.
"You worry a little bit, but when you do get the opportunity to go back in, you've got to make plays," Cobb said. "That's part of it. You're going to make mistakes sometimes."
Phillips said there is no set plan or planned series to get Hartline in. He will judge by the flow of the game.
"We'll see how Randall handles everything and moves the ball," Phillips said. "You don't change momentum if you've got it. If you don't have it, then you go to Mike and give him a chance. They've both proved Saturday that they can move the chains."
Jarmon named Lott quarterfinalist
Kentucky defensive end Jeremy Jarmon has been named a quarterfinalist for the Lott Trophy as the national defensive player of the year.
Jarmon is one of 20 quarterfinalists for the award, which equally recognizes athletic performance and personal character attributes.
Jarmon has 23 tackles this season, including 6.5 tackles for loss and three sacks. He also has two pass breakups and has recovered a fumble.
Off the field, Jarmon is majoring in political science and plans a career in public service. Last spring, he was the lead actor in the UK Theatre production of the play, Weak/Side/Help.
UK's Wesley Woodyard was a semifinalist for last year's Lott Trophy.
Lindley is semifinalistfor Thorpe award
Junior cornerback Trevard Lindley has been named one of 13 semifinalists for the Jim Thorpe Award, given to the nation's best defensive back.
Lindley leads the Southeastern Conference and is tied for sixth in the nation with nine pass breakups. He also has four interceptions.
The semifinalist list will be narrowed to three finalists on Nov. 24. The winner will be announced on the ESPNU College Football Awards Show on Dec. 11. Formal presentation of the award will be at a banquet on Feb. 11, 2009 at Oklahoma City.
"I'm not a proponent of the two-quarterback system; never have been. But as I see it right now, the two-quarterback system is our best opportunity to win games."
Rich Brooks, Kentucky coach