In each of Kentucky's two victories, the opposition had more first downs, more total yards and a greater time of possession.
To which UK football coach Joker Phillips countered with the ultimate trump card.
"All it means is we got the 'W,'" he said this week.
No arguing the bottom line: Kentucky beat Western Kentucky and Central Michigan. So what if supposed tuneup games struck more than a few off-key notes?
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"We don't look at statistics," Phillips said in accentuating the positive. "We only look at the end result."
But even the sunny-side-up coach acknowledged that the UK camp is not unconcerned, though unbeaten going into a future that begins with Saturday's game against in-state rival Louisville.
"Now, I don't think you can continue that way," Phillips said, "I mean, and make a living like that."
Kentucky took solace in the second half against a tiring Central Michigan last weekend. The Cats ran and passed more effectively. Freshman tailback Josh Clemons, now thrust in the starting role after Raymond Sanders' knee surgery Thursday, infused the offense with a missing ball-control dimension.
"We got a lot cleaner (and) looked like we were playing some ball plays last week," Phillips said of the Central Michigan game. "... Our offensive line got on people (and) stayed on people. Our backs ran the creases. I thought we looked a lot better this past week."
Now, Kentucky looks for continued improvement against a Louisville team anchored by a defense that limited its first two opponents to an average of only 94 rushing yards.
Whether Kentucky realizes further improvement might be significant given that both sides talked about running the ball as a key football component.
"I've not been a part of very many football games where the running game hasn't been a huge factor in the success or failure of whoever was involved," UK offensive line coach Mike Summers said. "When entering a big-time game, generally the team that can run the football is the team that's being the most physical, can control down and distance and generally can keep your defense off the field. All those things add up to a successful day."
Phillips added a mental benefit that comes with effective running. "It also gives you confidence if you're able to run the ball, at will," he said. "We haven't been able to do that yet. The running game is about attitude."
Phillips spoke about quarterback Morgan Newton enhancing his ability to be a running threat. The UK coach noted how Newton gives the shotgun formation a second running threat.
U of L Coach Charlie Strong took such a notion seriously.
"He's big and physical," Strong said of Newton. "He can run through guys. He's hard to tackle. ... The thing he can do with his feet, he can just keep the chains moving and give them a chance. If it's third-and-five, he can take off (and) go get a first down. We're going to have to stop him from running the ball. That's really critical."
Although Phillips downplayed Kentucky's inability to deliver first-half knockout punches in the first two games, he saw a good start against Louisville as "vital."
Maybe more importantly, the UK coach stressed the importance of effort.
"We've got to match the intensity in this game," he said. "If they take the momentum, we've got to fight and scratch and get it back on our side. There's going to be a lot of swings of momentum. We've just got to try to keep it a little bit longer than they do."
Phillips all but predicted that efforts to win through surprise and trickery would be futile. Both teams will try to run the ball and use play-action passes off the ground game. Both teams will play aggressively on defense.
"There won't be any surprises," Phillips said. " ... It's an in-state game (with) two teams that will try to bloody each other's nose."
Each will have scouted the other's two games. Neither team had the luxury of saving effective weaponry against overwhelmed opponents.
"Did you see the first two games?" Phillips asked a reporter who asked about UK springing a surprise on U of L. "We shouldn't be holding anything back."