Wildcats Await Bowl Invitation

Dec. 6, 2009

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Kentucky football team practiced Sunday afternoon in the Nutter Field House and now await an invitation for what will be a school-record fourth-consecutive bowl game.

The major news coming out of Sunday's practice is that junior quarterback Mike Hartline, who started the first five games of the season before being sidelined by a knee injury, is off crutches and has begun working out.  If all goes well, he will do some individual drills during practices next weekend.

“He has been off the crutches now for a couple of days,” Coach Rich Brooks said. “He was in the swim-ex (workout pool) today and will be in the swim-ex tomorrow. If there are no setbacks then he will be on the elliptical and stair stepper (machines). If there are no setbacks then he will be running and we will see how it goes. If there are no setbacks, then he will be doing some individual drills next weekend.”

The Wildcat coaching staff returns to the recruiting trail Sunday night for the remainder of the week.  The players will concentrate on studies while awaiting the next practice on Saturday, Dec. 12.

CollegeFootballNews.com -- Brooks Should be in Discussion for National Coach of the Year: Coach Rich Brooks received praise this week from Pete Fiutak in a notes column on CollegeFootballNews.com.  Here is what Fiutak wrote:

“Kentucky's Rich Brooks deserves to be in the discussion of national coach of the year. His team was ravaged by injuries, he pieced together an offense around a No. 3 quarterback, and Kentucky still survived in the SEC East and is in the mix for a nice bowl game.”

Kentucky went 7-5 in the regular season, giving UK seven wins in four-straight seasons for the first time since 1909-12.  Additional accomplishments from the season include:

  • Third-consecutive win over in-state rival Louisville
  • First win over Auburn since 1966
  • First win at Georgia since 1977
  • School-record 18-consecutive non-conference win streak

UK had a number of major injuries during the year.  Starting quarterback Mike Hartline went down with injury during the fifth game of the season.  UK went 5-2 after true freshman Morgan Newton started the last seven games.  All-America cornerback Trevard Lindley was hurt in the fourth game of the year and missed four games.

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