The Wildcats will be coming off an emotional 24-20 upset win over Georgia that has them within one game of being bowl eligible. However, Brooks noted today that Vanderbilt could be the "best four-win team in the country" based on their win at Georgia and how they played in close losses to Alabama and Florida.
"They have been extremely competitive and lost a lot of close games," Brooks said. "They have a real playmaker at quarterback (Chris Nickson) and his passing continues to improve. Their passing against Florida was one of the more impressive things I have seen because Florida has one of the better defenses in the nation." Vanderbilt also has one of the nation's top receivers in sophomore Earl Bennett, who had 13 catches for 157 yards against Florida Saturday. He set an SEC freshman record in 2005 with 79 catches for 876 yards — and remember he originally committed to UK before signing with Vanderbilt.
"He is fast. He has got good size and he has great hands and he can run routes. He torched Florida. There are a lot of really good receivers in this league, but he certainly is one of the very best," Brooks said.
Want more? Let Brooks talk about the defense. "Their defense is very, very solid. They just don't have a weakness. They are very disciplined. They play the run well. They defend the pass well. They are very smart. You do not catch them in busted coverages or giving up gap responsibilities," Brooks said.
Brooks has already talked to his team about avoiding a letdown against Vanderbilt. He'll continue to do that this week.
"We are in a position right now that Kentucky has not been in for a while. We can get full of ourselves or understand what we did to get here and prepare for what will be a very, very difficult game against Vanderbilt," Brooks said. "We have got to remember that they beat Georgia at Georgia. It is hard to win on the road in this league, particularly at Georgia. Look at how they moved up and down the field on Florida. They had two punts blocked for crying out loud. If they don't do that, they are going to win the game (against Florida).
"I don't think there is any week you can have a subpar game and expect to have the opportunity to win in this league. It is very competitive league. The big boys are still a little ahead. But here is Georgia who has been one of the big boys and all of a sudden they are 3-4 in the league. I just hope we can continue the trend of having some of us lower echelon teams move up the ladder."