CINCINNATI -- Mike Hartline threw two touchdowns Saturday -- one of them to former quarterback rival Randall Cobb -- to lead Kentucky to a 42-0 victory in Michael Haywood's debut as head coach at Miami (Ohio).
Kentucky left the bluegrass state to play its opener at Paul Brown Stadium. Brown played at Miami, coached Ohio State to a national championship, turned the Cleveland Browns into a pro football power and founded the Cincinnati Bengals, now run by his descendants.
Hartline briefly lost the starting job last season to Cobb, who has been moved to receiver. Coach Rich Brooks put the offense back in the hands of a junior who grew up in Canton, Ohio, and has an older brother who played at Ohio State. Hartline came through, going 18 of 27 for 222 yards in little more than three quarters.
Cobb caught a 27-yard pass for Kentucky's first touchdown. He also took a direct snap from center and ran 11 yards for a third-quarter touchdown. The versatile sophomore had seven catches for 96 yards.
Miami suffered its most lopsided season-opening loss since a 61-0 drubbing at Pittsburgh in 1931.
Kentucky needed only one quarter to get a feel for how the RedHawks would look under Haywood, who was Notre Dame's offensive coordinator for the last four years. To get prepared, Brooks spent a lot of time watching Notre Dame video. He warned his team to be ready for anything.
They saw a little bit of everything, including a fake punt that worked and a flea-flicker that was intercepted and set up Kentucky's first touchdown. Hartline's 27-yard pass to Cobb hit the receiver in stride and got Kentucky in its comfort zone. Hartline's 21-yard pass to Chris Matthews made it 21-0 at halftime.
Kentucky fans were a clear majority in the crowd of 41,037, and they liked what they saw from Cobb and company. The receivers bumbled last season -- Brooks was being kind when he called their performance "less than impressive" -- but they looked good during summer workouts. With Hartline getting plenty of time to throw, the receivers had little trouble getting open or catching the ball.
Haywood saw firsthand what he's up against in rebuilding a program known as the Cradle of Coaches. A pair of 2-10 seasons in the past three years prompted Miami to do something it hadn't done in more than a half-century: Hire someone with no ties to the school.
The RedHawks started four true freshmen and got pushed around. They wasted their only scoring chance, a 34-yard field goal attempt by Trevor Cook that was wide left.