VAUGHT: Brooks upbeat about his 100th win

Rather than be disappointed over the way his team let most of a big lead disappear at Vanderbilt, Rich Brooks chose a more optimistic outlook today over UK's 48-43 win Saturday--his 100th collegiate victory.

"Any win is hard no matter how you get it," said Brooks. "The good news is that we were again in a situation where the game could have gone either way and we held firm and didn't let it (get away). I was disappointed offensively that we did not move the chains in the fourth quarter and that defensively they converted five of six on fourth down. We didn't finish the game defensively like we played the first three quarters. The first three quarters were as well as we've played all year against a good team."

But he's right. The bottom line is that Kentucky won.

Think back to when the season started. What was a realistic expectation for this team? To me, that was three, perhaps, four wins. And that was before all the injuries took such a heavy toll, especially on defense.

Now UK is 3-6 despite being a favorite going into only one game (Idaho State) this season. And guess what? A victory over Tennessee in two weeks does not seem like an impossible task. Heck, the Cats are probably thinking they can play with Georgia this week.

"We still have a chance to beat two teams that Kentucky has historically struggled with," Brooks said today. "We have a chance to defeat a ranked team in Georgia. Then a traditional rival where the rivalry has been pretty much one sided in Tennessee. We still have some significant steps that can be made to get the program to where the young players returning can make a significant statement. To get one, or both, of those (wins) would be unbelievable."

Almost as unbelievable as the way sophomore Rafael Little continues to play. He had 372 all-purpose yards Saturday — the second best mark in school history. If he's not Southeastern Conference Offensive Player of the Week, the SEC should quit giving the honor.

But guess what? Brooks says Little will be the first to admit he should have had an even bigger game. Apparently if he had stayed outside on his second punt return behind the block of Jacob Tamme, he would have scored. He also got caught twice from behind when it looked like he might score.

"I promise you if you look at the film, he'll tell you he's disappointed he did not have more yards," Brooks said. "But he is an amazing guy who has shown great durability. To me, that's becoming one of his best assets."

Brooks says he's had two former players have more yards in a game than what Little did, but not when they were sophomores. "I don't know that you can expect that production from anybody on a realistic basis," Brooks said.

Be sure and see KSR's game photos from Kentucky's 48-43 victory over Vanderbilt.

Game Photos Link 1

Game Photos Link 2


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