LEXINGTON - Kentucky junior defensive tackle Mister Cobble, a Louisville native, is being counted on to anchor UK’s front when the Wildcats open the season at Louisville Sunday. Cobble missed the 2009 game when he was redshirted and 2010 game when he was academically ineligible, so this will be his first time to play collegiately in his hometown and he would like to erase the memory of last year’s loss to Louisville.
Question: How does your family/friends in Louisville handle the Kentucky-Louisville rivalry?
Question: Does your mom like it now having other family members at least pulling for UK because of you?
Cobble: “Yeah, she tries. But at the same time she just laughs at them every time the game even comes up. But it is going to be a good one.”
Question: What made her a Kentucky fan?
Cobble: “I don’t know. When she started having kids, her first two went to Kentucky and then third one went to Kentucky as well. She just always wanted a son to go to Kentucky and then she had me and it was one of her dreams to see me come here and play football.”
Question: Do you have a lot of friends and Louisville players that will be talking to you about the game?
Cobble: “I have a few friends on the Louisville team that I know back home and I know people back home rooting for Louisville and me as well. I just try to get my head focused and ready for game.”
Question: What does the Louisville game mean to you?
Cobble: “It is a big game. It is my hometown. I live there, know most everybody on the team. This will be my first time to go back over there and play in Cardinal Stadium since my high school days.”
Question: How much did they recruit you?
Cobble: “Not as much (as Kentucky). In high school, UK was the first one to offer me a scholarship. I didn’t hear from Louisville until the end of my senior year and that is when (current UK¿tight ends coach) coach (Greg) Nord was there recruiting me. I talked to him about everything was good and they were working on some other people, but in the end I signed with Big Blue.”
Question: Is Louisville just another game as the coaches try to say?
Cobble: “The game is never going to change. You have to go into every game with the same mindset not because it is Louisville, but because it is another team we have to face. Every week it is the same thing.”
Question: Would the win mean more than a win over Kent State would?
Cobble: “Yes it would. We would get the Governor’s Cup back. We are just going out there and trying to keep the rivalry going.”
Question: How is the defensive front progressing?
Cobble: “I feel like with this defense that we have that we have come together more because we understand it more. We have been here, been in the playbook. We lost to Louisville last year, but it was close. Now it is our first game of the season. We have a countdown clock in the locker room and wait room (showing days to Louisville). I remember walking in there the first time and it said 200 days. I looked the other day and it was 10 or 11. It’s getting closer and closer and I¿am enthusiastic about it and can’t wait.”
Question: What do you think of the Louisville offense?
Cobble: “Louisville’s offense is Louisville’s offense. I can’t really say anything because it is a new year and new people. They are just Louisville. Nothing against them. That’s just what they are doing.”
Question: What did they do to cause problems last year?
Cobble: “I think just us not ready for a quarterback (Teddy Bridgewater who came off the bench) who was ready to move. During practice we were not expecting him to come in as a true freshman. Then he came in there and it was something new we were not used to. All offseason we have been preparing for it, so we will be ready.”
Question: Do you like being a 14-point underdog in this game?
Cobble: “Being an underdog, that is where all the fun is at. You can go into someone else’s house and take it out on them. They expect them to beat us. When we come in and turn the tide, it just changes everybody’s views.”
Question: How are freshmen defensive linemen Patrick Graffree and Thomas Chapman doing?
Cobble: “Right now they are freshmen. That’s all I can truly say about it. They are learning and it is a complicated defense they are trying to learn this first year. It’s really hard. School has just started as well, so they have a lot of things on their plate. But they are going to progress and be good guys. Both of them are pretty strong and they want to learn and work. They will both be good players.”