Brooks ready for a new role

The loss to Michael Jolivette is a huge blow for the Wildcats. Although the injury will hurt the Cats, his loss is tempered a bit by the emergence of redshirt freshman corner back Darrell Brooks. Brooks looked to be a great help to Jolivette and now must replace him.

Brooks knows he must not step up and help compensate for the loss of the talented corner. Brooks feels that although the team will miss Jolievette, he and his fellow corners can get the job done.

"I'm so used to seeing Mike out there," Brooks said "He's been there for me the whole time, so it was kind of sad seeing him at the airport before we left.

"D. (David) Hinton has been here the past couple of years so he knows how things operate."

The team played poorly in Wisconsin without Jolivette and has a desire to improve this Saturday against North Texas.

"Everyone's angry," Brooks confessed. "We're disappointed in ourselves. We certainly didn't expect to go in there and have that kind of performance. I think the coaches are angry and they should be. We definitely have to correct some things and step up from here. We have to learn from it. It was a big game and we have a lot of things to work on."

The Wildcat coaches would not admit to making any changes to the secondary and Brooks and his fellow defensive backs don't think any are coming.

"I don't anticipate any changes," said Brooks. "I just think we'll fix our problems, get into the swing of things and get ready to play this weekend. We just need to swarm to the ball like we did in previous games."

One change the Cats know they must be able to make is the ability to force turnovers, something they have done little of this season.

"That's been the emphasis coach Mac Duff has been giving us all summer. We need to take away the ball, it's just something we need to do. You get (turnovers) when you can get them. We need to make them happen, not just wait for them."

Brooks had to earn a starting job in the preseason and now he is the team's number one corner. It was something the young player really didn't plan on.

"I didn't expect it, but I just have to step up to the plate and accept it," confessed Brooks. "I know some of the upper classmen are expecting me to perform."

Brooks was dinged up in practice this week, but is expected to play on Saturday.

E-mail Brad Allis at Heymtymte@cs.com

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