Kentucky Coach Rich Brooks couldn't have drawn it up any better.
Offensively, the Wildcats churned out a season-high 282 yards rushing, had no turnovers and committed no penalties. It was the first time a UK team has gone flag-free since a game against Vanderbilt in 1991.
Defensively, UK stuffed what had been the SEC's most potent offense, holding Auburn to nearly 175 yards below its season average.
All of that added up to a historic 21-14 win at Auburn, ending a 15-game losing streak to the Tigers that dated back 43 years.
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The Wildcats now come to a three-game home stand at 3-3 overall and 1-3 in the SEC.
"It's nice to get on the bus and ride over to Columbus (Ga.) and hear laughing and cackling instead of being down like the South Carolina loss," Brooks said. "It's fun to play football; it's a heck of a lot more fun to win and get rewarded for their efforts. I think a lot of people had given up on us as a team and were writing the season off, but these guys wouldn't have any part of that. They stepped up, did some really good things and showed the type of football we're capable of playing."
But while the above equation painted a pretty picture, the picture isn't quite perfect just yet.
The passing game is still a work in progress. Brooks and his staff are trying to adjust on the fly to life without starting quarterback Mike Hartline. Three different QBs took snaps at Auburn — Morgan Newton, Randall Cobb, and Will Fidler — and each scored a rushing touchdown.
But none of the three quarterbacks could get much going in the passing game. Newton and Fidler combined to go just 9-for-22 passing for 75 yards and no scores.
The offensive line is opening holes in the running game, and Cobb and Derrick Locke give UK two big-play threats on the ground. The offense might get more contributions from another in Alfonso Smith, who should be ready for an expanded role after being limited the last two weeks by a sprained thumb.
Brooks knows that will only work for so long, though. As teams watch film, they'll began to focus on the run, which clearly has become the Wildcats' bread and butter.
"With the speed that those guys possess, it's been a really good thing to see some of those holes open up and them get to the next level pretty quickly," Brooks said. "But we need to focus on getting our passing game on track. We have to get more production out of our passing game if we expect to do what we want to do."
Brooks said he'll handle the quarterback situation much as he did last week: evaluate both Newton and Fidler in practice and go from there.
Brooks credited Newton for not turning the ball over and not having any false starts or procedure penalties in his first career start on the road in a hostile SEC environment. But Brooks also pointed out some of Newton's mistakes, such as turning the wrong way on a handoff and forgetting to put Cobb in motion on a play. Newton also misfired on a couple of downfield attempts and short-armed a pass on an end-around pitch to Chris Matthews that would have been a big play.
"I thought Morgan did some good things early," Brooks said. "He didn't seem in awe of the situation or all that nervous. He overthrew a couple of guys early but overall I thought he handled himself well.
"As the game wore on, he got narrower in his vision and demeanor. Morgan showed the potential he has to throw the football but wasn't accurate. He started staring down his receivers a little bit. But he'll learn a lot from this game."
Fidler looked steadier than he did relieving Hartline last week at South Carolina. He completed a big fourth-down pass on a tough catch by T.C. Drake and had a couple of nice runs, including a 2-yarder that tied the score at 14.
"Will managed the game well and did some good things," Brooks said. "He ran the ball with authority, and directed our offense very well. Will gives you everything he has. He's a tough guy and outstanding young man who did some good things to bring us back in the fourth quarter."
Brooks said cornerback Trevard Lindley remains doubtful for Saturday's home game with Louisiana-Monroe. Brooks said he hopes to have Lindley back for the Oct. 31 game with Mississippi State.
Also, Locke might miss some practice time with an MCL strain in his right knee, which is not the knee he had surgically repaired. Brooks said Locke was experiencing swelling in the knee.