The Big Three – Kentucky Football

VIDEO HERE | Kentucky vs Louisville – 2009

Going into the 2010 Football Season, the starting running back and top ranked receiver is a Locke… Derrick Locke will be the feature back while Randall Cobb will be the featured Player. Both have game breaking ability, Locke with his speed and Cobb with his do it all ability from wide or behind center.

Cobb was one of the nation’s most versatile performers. A dynamic playmaker as a wide receiver, quarterback, punt returner and kickoff returner. Plays primarily as a wide receiver but also plays quarterback in what one reporter nicknamed the “WildCobb” formation. Also holds for placekicks. Has played in 23 career games, with 20 starts.

In the 2009 season (Sophomore), Cobb rushed for 573 yards, including two games for over 100 yards, he led the team with 39 catches for 447 yards, completed 5 out of 13 pass attempts for 89 yards and accumulated 653 yards in kick off and punt returns. Overall Cobb had 1,673 all-purpose yards (139.4 per game) along with 15 touchdowns.

Locke has great burst and good strength for a player his size. Ranks 10th on the UK career rushing list heading into his Senior season. Also a capable pass receiver. Dangerous kickoff returner who has a pair of 100-yard run backs in his career, making him the first Wildcat in school history to have two 100-yarders.

In the 2009 season (Junior), Locke rushed 196 times for 908 yards for 4.6 yards per carry. He had 31 receptions for 281 yards, completed 1 for 1 passes for 41 yards and had 625 yards in kick off returns. Overall Locke had 1,817 all-purpose yards (151.4 per game) along with 9 touchdowns, including a memorable 100 yard kick off return against in state rival Louisville.

The QB position seems to be the one point in the triangle to be finalized. Most, including myself, think Mike Hartline will ultimately be the starter, but Morgan Newton is pressing the Senior for that role. Of the three, this position is the weak link as Hartline has yet to truly prove himself and Newton was called to duty only due to an injury to Hartline during the ’09 season. He did an admirable job but still has a lot to prove on the field.

Chris Low at ESPN-U ranked his top 5 set of triplets in the SEC and the combination of Hartline, Cobb and Locke landed in the 5th overall spot, one that may surprise some, but one I believe is too low for the talent discussed. Firm up the QB position and the Cats triplets could surprise the SEC. Here is what Low had to say about the Cats |

5. Kentucky: QB Mike Hartline, RB Derrick Locke, WR Randall Cobb

The skinny: Hartline has battled inconsistency and injuries, but he’s determined to make his senior season his best yet. The Wildcats will need him to if they’re going to extend their bowl streak to five straight years. Some fans might be surprised to see the Wildcats in the top 5, but it’s a tribute to how good and how versatile Locke and Cobb have been. Locke was second last season in the SEC in all-purpose yardage, while Cobb was fourth. Locke’s the faster of the two, but Cobb is one of those guys who just makes plays no matter where he lines up.

2010 may be the Cats biggest challenge to get to another bowl. Most experts are projecting a best 7-5 and a worst case scenario of 5-7. I expect UK to once again be at a bowl, but they must win all of their non-conference games, especially the in-state rival game against Louisville. Future in-state recruiting hangs in the balance.

My prediction, 7-5 or 8-4 and this is the year the Cats break the Tennessee streak. Go Cats!!!


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