Reviewing Kentucky's spring game

Kentucky coach Joker Phillips wasn't prepared to say it coming out of the spring, but senior quarterback Mike Hartline knows how he'll proceed this offseason.

Like he's the starter.

"The coaches are going to let it ride through the summer and fall and let us compete," Hartline said following the Wildcats' Blue-White spring game last Saturday. "When they announce it, they announce it. But I'm preparing like I'm going to be the guy when Sept. 4 comes."

Ultimately, he's probably going to be right. Hartline's edge in experience this spring was obvious. He ran the offense more effectively most of the time and gives the Wildcats a better chance right now in the passing game, which is why he's the favorite to be the starter when the season begins.

Phillips did say that sophomore Morgan Newton and redshirt freshman Ryan Mossakowski closed the gap toward the end of spring, which means both will be options if the offense struggles under Hartline.

The star of the spring game for the Wildcats was backup running back Donald Russell, who rushed for 118 yards and two touchdowns on nine carries. Russell ripped off a 70-yard touchdown run and also pulled in a nice 35-yard, over-the-shoulder catch from Hartline on the sideline.

The game was set up as an offense vs. defense scrimmage. Hartline was intercepted by linebacker Danny Trevathan on the opening drive, but bounced back to throw a 21-yard touchdown pass to E.J. Fields. Hartline finished 11-of-24 for 124 yards.

The best news for the defense was that it got consistent pressure on the passer. Trevathan looks like he's going to be a big-play performer for this defense. He had a sack, an interception and a quarterback hurry. The guy to watch up front is redshirt freshman tackle Mister Cobble, who had a big spring.

Kentucky's top two offensive weapons, Randall Cobb and Derrick Locke, didn't get much work. Cobb caught just one pass and didn't have any rushing attempts. Locke ran the ball twice for 11 yards.