VAUGHT: Sunday update with Coach Brooks

Kentucky coach Rich Brooks knows he has to be happy when his team scores 38 points and gains 597 yards like it did against Vanderbilt Saturday. However, don't think Brooks viewed that as a perfect offensive performance by his Wildcats.

"We did some poor things. Overall, when you score 38 points and have 597 yards, you have to be fairly pleased," Brooks said Sunday. "I would have been more pleased if we had not had some special teams gaffes. And we had probably our poorest tackling game we have had in a long, long time."

But what about the offense? Surely there could not have been that much to fault with Andre Woodson throwing for 450 yards and four scores, Keenan Burton catching 11 passes for 171 yards and two scores, and Rafael Little rushing for 132 yards and one score and catching eight passes for another 114 yards.

"We had more offensive mistakes than you think," Brooks said. "We had some missed blocks. We had some breakdowns in protection. We had overthrown balls that could have been home runs. Just some minor things that you don't like to see happen. But that doesn't mean I am not pleased with what we did."

Fine. Let me try another approach. Surely there had to be fewer offensive complaints after this game than any other game this season?

"I thought we played a good game offensively against Central Michigan. I thought we played a pretty good offensive game against Mississippi State. There were more big plays on offense yesterday than we have had in a long time."

And he didn't mind heaping some big-time praise on Woodson, who has to be one of the nation's most improved players, if not the most improved player. He has 24 touchdown passes this season — the fourth best mark in school history — and 32 in his career. He has had eight 200-yard passing games this year and completed more than 60 percent of his passes. He now has 4,711 career passing yards to rank fourth on UK's all-time list.

"I think he is probably one of the best kept secrets in college football when you talk about the best quarterbacks in the country. Those quarterbacks usually play for championship teams. He has numbers to compare or equal almost anybody you talk about for the Heisman (Trophy) or All-American (voting). He is having a phenomenal year and just had a monster game against Vanderbilt."

Now Brooks just wants to make sure the Wildcats don't underestimate Louisiana-Monroe. Kentucky has six wins to make itself bowl eligible and is currently second in the Southeastern Conference Eastern Division. While there is still a chance UK could get locked out of a bowl bid with six wins, a seventh win would all but guarantee UK a bowl trip.

"They are very athletic. They have played very tough schedule," Brooks said of Louisiana-Monroe. "They have good athletes and the will spread the field, which has been a problem for us.

"They had a bye and came off it and shut out Florida International 35-0. In my mind ,we could do a lot of damage if our heads are not on straight and we think we do not have to work hard to win. They could come in here and beat us in a flash. We just need to be ready to play better than we have in last several weeks.

"We are getting better in some areas, then taking two steps back in some other areas. We need to understand we need to get better in all areas every week."

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