Kentucky Notebook

By Adam Caparell - April 20, 2007


LEXINGTON, Ky. - Kentucky's defense wasn't its strong suit during last year's 8-5 season. In the SEC, they were last in total defense, last in rushing defense and last in passing defense. And coach Rich Brooks knows the Wildcats have to be better if they want to improve on their 2006 mark this fall.

Fortunately for Wildcats fans, Brooks thinks they will, especially since he feels the team has more speed than he's seen during his tenure at Kentucky. And it's speed with some substance.

"The difference is that I think the speed understands where it's going a little better," Brooks said. "The decision making process is clicking faster and they feel more comfortable so they can let their speed play a little bit better."

When Brooks got to Kentucky, he had only one player who ran under 4.5 40 yard dash. At their pro day this year, Brooks said the Wildcats had 15.

"We' re increasing the speed more like the better SEC teams have," Brooks said.

The Wildcats did lead the conference in turnover margin last season with a +15 mark, significantly better than Alabama in the No. 2 slot. That showed the potential the Wildcats have. Now with a year under their belt, what was a relatively young unit is more experienced and ready to perform.

"We have more guys that look like SEC players than we've had in the past," Brooks said.

Quarterback Andre' Woodson agrees with Brooks.

"The defense is looking tremendous," Woodson said. "They're looking totally different than last season. They're a lot faster, quicker. They're giving us a fight every single day out there."

Honoring The Hokies: Brooks said his players would wear a Virginia Tech sticker on their helmets to pay their respects to the victims and their families of the Viriginia Tech disaster that took the lives of 32 individuals Monday at the Blacksburg campus. It was an easy decision for Brooks to make since he is good friends with Tech coach Frank Beamer.

Posted by Adam Caparell at 01:55 PM on April 20, 2007
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