VAUGHT: Brooks sees encouraging signs in UF loss

While it's not easy to find any bright spots after your team falls behind 49-7 at halftime, Kentucky coach Rich Brooks was able to see some things in Saturday's 49-28 loss to No. 5 Florida that left him encouraged not only for next year, but also for the rest of this season.

While it's not easy to find any bright spots after your team falls behind 49-7 at halftime, Kentucky coach Rich Brooks was able to see some things in Saturday's 49-28 loss to No. 5 Florida that left him encouraged not only for next year, but also for the rest of this season.

Start with the offensive line. He felt freshman Christian Johnson played well as did Garry Williams. He also felt James Alexander got valuable experience.

"We have to play those guys more. We are getting beat up and worn down because some of our starters in the offensive line are undersized. The freshmen aren't undersized, but our starters are," Brooks said. "Christian Johnson really played well. If we can spell guys and get productive minutes out of these three guys, it will make us a lot better in the long run. I know Michael Aitcheson played a lot better when he came back in. Maybe it was because he was fresher and not having to play all the time."

Now switch to the defensive front, which needs help even more. Brooks said freshman tackle Myron Pryor played well in the first half before the same cramping problem that has plagued him all season kept him out of the second half. However, that gave freshman Ventrell Jenkins a chance to play and he responded by getting his first collegiate sack.

"Ventrell Jenkins played heck of game, particularly considering he is a freshman. He made some SEC type plays and did some good things. Jenkins is finally starting to feel comfortable in there. He played fullback and then some defensive end and linebacker in high school," Brooks said. "This is new for him. He showed the strength, power and explosiveness to be a good player in this league. Myron Pryor also played well. Those two young freshmen need to play more."

Freshman cornerback David Jones was electrifying on kick returns. Could his speed help Kentucky more at receiver where the Cats continue to lose players?

"Have you forgot what we looked like at cornerback?" Brooks asked. "We need him there. He played a lot there (Saturday) and he'll probably play a lot more. He is very good player who is starting to get confidence in what he is doing on defense. We need him because can be a big-time corner in this league, but has to gain experience and knowledge to do that."

Along with the blown assignments and other mistakes Kentucky made in Florida's 35-point second quarter, the injuries continued to mount for the Wildcats. That's why not having a game this week might be the first thing that has really gone Kentucky's way all season.

Freshman receiver DeMoreo Ford will probably be out at least four to six weeks with a knee ligament injury. Brooks will probably know more Tuesday after a MRI is done on Ford's knee.

Offensive tackle Fatu Turituri's knee injury is "nothing serious" and he should be able to return after missing a few days of practice. Same with Williams, who sprained his ankle. Receiver Glenn Holt "tweaked" his ankle and "dinged" his shoulder. Tight end Jacob Tamme hurt the same shoulder he did in preseason workouts. Both should be fine later this week.

Quarterback Andre Woodson took a hit to his ribs in the first half that eventually forced him out of the game in the fourth quarter. Brooks said the pulled muscle will "probably take three or four downs to settle down" but he anticipates no problems in having Woodson ready to play Oct. 8 at South Carolina. He doesn't think completing only 11 of 27 passes for 124 yards and throwing three interceptions will hurt Woodson's confidence.

"He understands all quarterbacks will throw to the other guy once in a while," Brooks said. "It's kind of ironic that as soon as he broke the (Kentucky) record for most passes without an interception (153) that the next one was intercepted. But it was just a matter of time. I'm just hopeful he'll put together another 150 string without an interception."

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