VAUGHT: Brooks: Georgia defense impressive

Georgia has lost three of its last four games and not only dropped out of the Southeastern Conference Eastern Division race, but also dropped out of the national rankings. Still, Kentucky coach Rich Brooks warned Sunday that the Bulldogs should not be taken lightly after what he saw in their 21-14 loss to No. 9 Florida Saturday.

"The team I saw looking at the Florida game was a lot different team than what I saw against Vanderbilt and Mississippi State," Brooks said. "Defensively, Georgia was back playing the defense it is known for. Look at the yardage in that game. For them to hold Florida's offense down like that is an impressive effort. They were very, very physical, too. We accepted the challenge of being more physical during our bye week and were more physical Saturday (at Mississippi State). But we have to get even more physical this week."

The Gators scored two first-half touchdowns against Georgia. However, the third score was a fumble return and the Bulldogs shut out Florida's offense in the second half while holding quarterback Chris Leak to just 163 yards passing. Florida's big-play offense also had only three plays over 20 yards. Overall, Florida gained 319 yards.

Kentucky will bring a 4-4 record into the game against Georgia and is coming off its first road win of the season. However, Brooks says there's no way UK can be overconfident going into this game.

"If we are overconfident, something is wrong with us. We have way too many warts," the Kentucky coach said. "We gave up sacks. We didn't score when we had great scoring opportunities. We gave up way too many plays over 20 yards in the passing game.

"We have a lot of work to do. We have to continue to get better and we are going to be playing a team that has beat up on us pretty good since I have been here and beat up on Kentucky pretty good over the years."

The Wildcats, last in the SEC in rushing, passing and overall defense, did limit Mississippi State to 24 yards rushing on 24 carries. However, the Bulldogs threw for 384 yards.

"I was very pleased with our front seven against the run. We used our hands, we swarmed the ballcarrier and we had more tackles for loss than we have had in a long time in the running game. To hold a SEC team to 24 yards rushing given we were giving up rushing yards by the bushels was very pleasing," Brooks said.

"We still had mistakes in our zone coverage. A couple of poor angles taken by defensive backs turned what should have been incomplete passes into 30 or 40 yard gains."

Brooks said Kentucky blitzed often, but sometimes State had the right play called to counter the blitz and sometimes State quarterback Michael Hening just made big plays.

"Just because you call a blitz doesn't mean it can't be blocked. If they catch you in maximum protection and you are blitzing, then you are in trouble. That's what happened to us on the 75-yard slant route they hit on Paul Warford," Brooks said. "The blitz does not do you a lot good on a three-step drop (by the quarterback) unless you knock the ball down.

"We just have to keep rolling the dice and hope to catch people in the right situation. It was the first game in long time we had not had a sack. We had Hening under duress, but he completed some passes under heavy pressure."


AllWildcats Top Stories