Is Mike Hartline Progressing?

I'm one of the last people you'll find who gets excited over big wins over bad teams. Whenever feasible, I throw out against I-AA teams when doing statistical research. 

That said, take a look at Mike Hartline's first two games. His 135.49 passing efficiency against Louisville doesn't really stand out from his 134.27 of last year. However, his 218.96 efficiency rating against Western Kentucky is far and away the best he's ever posted, surpassing the 171.26 he put up last year against South Carolina before succumbing to injury in the third quarter.

Now, WKU is functionally a I-AA team in disguise as the Sun Belt Conference's doormat. However it was only the fourth time Hartline has broken out above 135 in his career, and one of the other three was a game in which he attempted just seven passes. Another was the aforementioned '09 South Carolina game where he didn't play a full four quarters. The first two games of this season also represent the first time he has hit that 135 mark and posted a better passing efficiency rating the next. They're clearly the best two-game stretch of his career.

Some of this has to do with scheduling, but Kentucky has played plenty of terrible teams over the past few years. It's too early to say anything about Hartline for sure, but it's possible his arrow is finally pointed in the right direction.

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