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Head Coach: Rich Brooks (9-25,
3 years; 100-134-4 overall,
21 years) 2005 Record: 3-8,2-6/6th
Location: Lexington, KY Turf: Grass Capacity: 67,606 Seating Chart:
In Guy Morriss' magical 2002 season (7 wins), they were practically injury free but despite being 3-5 in SEC play were still outgained by 114 ypg in league play (2nd worst). Brooks inherited a program that lost 19 scholarships from 2002-2004 due to NCAA sanctions. In the 2004 fall practice they had an SEC low 73 scholarship players. UK has beaten just one Top 15 team since 1977 and in Brooks' first
year were 1-7 in SEC play being outgained by 79.3 ypg. Mike Archer's D allowed just 22.8 ppg not including OT. In 2004, they had 3 close losses including giving up a TD to the Vols with :38 left and finished 1-7 in the SEC, being outgained by a league worst 200.1 ypg. A total of 20 starters and key reserves missed a combined 77 games in 2004 due to injury. Most of UK's winnable games were on the road last season and of last year's 81 scholarship players, 1 1 were walk-on's. UK has been to just 1 0 bowls in school history, the 2nd lowest in the SEC and since 1 951 have had just 3 seasons of 8 wins or more. With the WR corps and the DL banged up, they were drilled by Indiana 38-1 4 and Brooks' departure seemed a forgone conclusion. Four TO's in 7 plays turned a ctose game into a blowout vs S Carolina. They surprisingly beat Miss St in front of just 55,1 63 and then had 450 yards vs Auburn, the 2nd most of any Tiger foe all year. They knocked Vandy out of a bowl with a 48-43 win and improved to 3-8 despite being outgained in all 1 1 games. Once again they were last in the SEC in ypg in league play (-1 42.4) and -9 turnovers but showed enough signs of life that with 16 returning starters (only 6 recruited scholarship seniors) and a much more favorable schedule, they'll give Brooks one more shot. The last coach to leave UK with a winning record was Blanton Collier (1 954-61 ). Of the 40 signees from the 2001 and 2002 classes, 24 have left the team. Last year 1 7 starters and key reserves missed a total of 80 games. The Cats averaged 27.3 ppg in Brooks' first year but have slumped to 1 5.7 and 21 .7 the last two. This year with 9 offensive starters back including a much upgraded 0-line, they could even top 'OS's production. Last year's D had just 5 starters back and suffered a lot of injuries allowing 34. 1 ppg, their highest since 2000. This year's D has 7 starters back and gets a couple of VHT newcomers. With 1 6 defensive players back having starting experience, UK should allow the fewest ppg in the a. The
Brooks era. The Cats will escape the basement in the SEC East and I give them a great shot at bowl eligibility for the first time since 2002.
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