Although the Cats rank last in the Southeastern Conference in scoring defense (28.4 points per game), rushing defense (201 ypg), pass defense (260 ypg) and total defense (461 ypg), Mike Archer's group ranks among the top teams in the nation in another category.
Kentucky's defense ranks No. 1 in the nation in fumble recoveries with 10 through its first five games. The Cats have forced 14 turnovers, including at least two in four straight games for the first time in Brooks' tenure as coach.
"We're making a lot of big plays on defense," Brooks said. "We're stripping the ball, we're putting it on the ground and we're recovering it."
Kentucky defensive end Dominic Lewis said the team's aggressiveness has contributed to the team's ability to come up with big plays.
"We have some strong guys who can get their hands on the ball," he said. "The ball pops out and we have been able to capitalize on that. The more turnovers we have, the more our offense has an opportunity to score."
"We have many players on our team who make plays happen," linebacker Wesley Woodyard added. "Really, it's just being in the right spot. If you do your job, turnovers will happen."
While Brooks has noticed a marked improvement in the turnover margin department, he doesn't like the fact teams are collecting a big chunk of yardage, especially in third-and-long situations.
In the win over Central Michigan, the Chippewas were successful on seven third-down opportunities on 15 attempts.
"That can't happen," Brooks said. "You cannot let a team convert a third-and-10, a third-and-17 or a third-and-11."
Nearly midway through the season, Brooks said he has been mostly pleased with the defense, with a few exceptions.
"In my mind, out of five games, we've had two bad defensive games, but we've had three good defensive games," he said.
Brooks said a big problem lies in the team's experience at some spots along the defensive front and in the secondary.
"If you compare some of our offensive talent with our defense, you would see that we are a lot younger on defense," he said. "Even though we are starting some seniors (on defense), we are very inexperienced in a lot of areas. Offensively, it seems like we have grown up this year, defensively we still need to grow up.
"We need to learn how to finish it."
* Kentucky quarterback Andre Woodson is tied for second in the nation in touchdown passes thrown with 14.
* Kentucky is attempting to go 4-0 at home for the first time since 1987.
* UK is 3-0 at Commonwealth for only the eighth time in school history and the first time since 2002.
* South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier is 13-0 all-time against UK.
* The Cats are averaging 30 points per game, third in the SEC in scoring offense.
* The Gamecocks have won six in a row over the Cats, including a 44-16 victory last season in Columbia, S.C.
* Brooks said that Corey Peters, Tyler Sexton and Jamil Paris were expected to receive an MRI on Monday. He added that Rafael Little is "more probable than questionable," while Ricky Abren also could play with a cast. Center Matt McCutchan is doubtful. Jarrell Williams was scheduled to undergo hernia surgery today.