Brooks Cautiously Optimistic as UK Prepares for Kent State

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) -- Even after posting his first season-opening victory in five years at Kentucky, coach Rich Brooks isn't ready to say the Wildcats are ready for the rigors of life in the Southeastern Conference.

Sure, there were plenty of bright spots in Kentucky's 50-10 win over Eastern Kentucky on Saturday, namely the running game. The Wildcats ran for 288 yards, hopefully a sign that running back Rafael Little and company will be able to take some pressure off quarterback Andre Woodson this week when Kentucky hosts Kent State (1-0). The Golden Flashes won on the road at Iowa State last week.

"The competition is going to be more difficult, so therefore you won't see it be as successful," he said. "Let's hope that we don't have the door slammed in our face on our running game this week. Let's see if we can put a couple of games back-to-back and then back-to-back-to back. That's how you determine whether you're really getting better at something. A one-game spurt on something doesn't mean you've solved the problem."

Brooks echoed the same sentiment for his defense, which ranks 18th in the nation in yards allowed after surrendering only 202 yards against Eastern Kentucky.

"I think the defense played well," he said. "But I'm not ready to anoint our defense that it has arrived until (we) do it two or three or four times and show significant improvement over a period of time. But first time out of the blocks, I think it was a pretty significant opening game for our defense, especially on third down. That was huge."

Brooks said Lones Seiber will be the team's kicker this week, but also said he's concerned with the Seiber's inconsistent play. Seiber missed two extra points and one field goal against the Colonels.

"Lones is our guy right now," Brooks said. "But if he doesn't get more consistent than that even though maybe the guys in practice aren't any better than he is, at least you have to give them a chance at some point if he doesn't get consistency in his kicking."

Seiber must regulate his mechanics to become more effective, Brooks said.

"His stroke is a little different on most every kick, and he's got to get to the point where it's always the same," Brooks said. "It doesn't matter if it's an extra point, 30-yard field goal or 48-yard field goal, the swing needs to be the same. He's putting a little too much into it and maybe overanalyzing some things."

Brooks also responded angrily when asked if he was worried about his team looking ahead to its match-up with No. 10 Louisville on Sept. 15.

"Everybody keeps bringing up Louisville," Brooks said. "We're not playing Louisville. We're not worried about Louisville, and I'm not worried about my players thinking ahead to Louisville. I'm worried about them focusing on Kent State regardless of what the reasons are. Where Louisville falls on the schedule doesn't predicate where our head is. Where our head is as a team is we need to focus on what we need to get better at. They proved last week that they had their head on right and I believe they'll have their head on right this week."

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