Brooks certainly was not pleased that his team was outgained 377 yards to 330 by the Warhawks, especially after Louisiana-Monroe had only 47 yards in the first quarter.
"We needed to start fast and we did. I thought defensively we did a great job against the running game in the first half, but we never got off the field on third down. We didn't make the plays we have been making most of the year on third down," the coach said after watching his team let the visitors convert 12 of 19 third-down plays.
However, Brooks didn't miss what the win meant for the big picture this season even if he was frustrated by part of his team's play.
"We got accomplished what we needed to do. Their defensive stuff gave us a lot of problems and I thought it would. We didn't move the ball well at all. We scored in chunks rather than drives. We couldn't sustain our normal ground game," Brooks said.
"We hit their quarterback a lot and he was still throwing and completing. Our third-down defense was atrocious and our third-down offense was not much better. But a win is a win is a win and we got what we needed to do accomplished."
This was supposed to be the start of the easier half of UK's schedule, but Louisiana-Monroe had lost only at Texas and Arizona State and is picked to win its conference. The rest of the schedule certainly looks a lot more difficult after Saturday's play, too.
Tennessee lost only 12-10 at Auburn and had a chance to win before a field goal was blocked on the final play. Mississippi State, next week's opponent, tied Florida 13-13 in the third quarter before falling 29-19. And Vanderbilt had a 10-7 lead over South Carolina, a team UK can never beat, going into the fourth quarter before losing 14-10.
"We can't underestimate anyone," UK defensive end DeQuin Evans said. "We didn't play our best tonight."
Joker Phillips, UK's head coach of the offense, was not particularly pleased with the play of either Morgan Newton or Will Fidler at quarterback.
"We were sloppy and that's unacceptable," Phillips said.
Once again, though, the play of Randall Cobb was more than acceptable. Kentucky's do-it-all star returned a punt 73 yards for a score even though he was interfered with fielding the punt, had an 11-yard scoring run among his 41 rushing yards and completed two of four passes for 46 yards. And Brooks was trying to avoid using him as much as possible to let him rest.
"My job description is to be a football player," Cobb said. "I had never returned a punt for a touchdown before. I told Morgan on the sideline before I went out there if the kick came the right way, I could do it because of some things I had seen on film. I got hit catching it, but I caught it, got some good blocks and made it before I gave out."
Brooks says he's running out of ways to praise Cobb.
"I have seen him do a lot of great things and he continues to do those. We had talked about wanting to get a few completions out of the wildcat package to keep people from bunching up on us and this will do that," the UK coach said. "There is still more in that package, but you do not want to give it away all at one time."
Not with a must-win game for bowl eligibility looming with Mississippi State.
"If we win this next one, we position ourselves to really have a good season," linebacker Sam Maxwell said. "But we know we have to do a lot better than we did tonight. We won, but it's not a win where you go home and just feel good overall."
UK notes: Linebacker Micah Johnson, UK's top tackler, left the game in the first half with a medial collateral ligament strain that Brooks said is "not major, major but it is not a Band-Aid injury." He said he could be questionable for next week ... Randall Burden's 50-yard interception return for a score in the second half was his first interception and score at Kentucky ... John Conner had a touchdown rushing and receiving for the first time in his career and matched the feat Randall Cobb had at South Carolina earlier this year ... Matt Roark blocked an extra point kick, UK's first block since he had one against South Carolina last season ... Kentucky has now won a school-record 17 straight non-conference games.