Monday, November 24, 2008

Don’t give Hartline the keys just yet

Nashville, Tennessee – A 56-10 drubbing of SEC bottom feeder Vanderbilt couldn’t keep controversy out of coach Fife’s locker-room. The controversy boils down to who will play quarterback this week against #16 Georgia. It seems Mike Hartline, a Redshirt junior and brother Ohio State wide receiver Brian Hartline, is putting the pressure on current starting quarterback Curtis Pulley.

It started with Pulley’s poor performance against arch-rival Louisville. Pulley was intercepted on the second play from scrimmage, which lead to a UL field goal, and then had a garbage time fumble that was returned for a UL touchdown. Coming into the Vandy game, most thought he was due for another huge performance as seen in the IU game. Pulley finished a measly 8-17 with 158 yards passing, 3 rushing touchdowns, no passing touchdowns, and 1 interception. With the game out of reach due to a punishing UK defense, Hartline entered the game and added 21 points of his own. Hartline finished the game 14-14 with 178 yards passing, 1 rushing touchdown, 2 passing touchdowns, and 0 interceptions.

“It’s way too early to tell,” said Coach Fife when asked about Hartline’s stats and status for the Georgia game. “I’ll have to admit that Mike opened my eyes, but it’s one thing to score in garbage time versus playing when the game is on the line.” It’s obvious that this could become a developing story when Fife added this, “Mike’s definitely an option going forward. He put those numbers up using the 2nd team offense on a 1st team defense. We’ll probably sprinkle him into some of our offensive packages and see how well he moves the team.” Coach Fife ended the weekly teleconference saying this, “Let me reiterate this, Curtis [Pulley] is still our starter. It’s his job to lose.”

No BCS Talk
The Cats are 3-0 and now have #19 ranking, but you won’t hear coach Fife mention the BCS. “Our goal is to get to, and win, the SEC championship. Anything beyond that is just gravy,” said Fife. He did, however, scrutinize the Cats current standings in the polls, “I’m not happy about our current rank. I truly believe that we’re better than most of the teams that have a better rank than us”, said Fife. “But I also think that it will work itself out in the next few weeks so I’m not too concerned at this time.”

Georgia Game Time
This week’s UK/UGA game will be picked up by ESPN and will have Brad Nessler, Lee Corso, and Kirk Herbstreit call the game. The game is slated for Monday, November 24 with a kickoff time at 6:00pm (ET).

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