At least one coach on Kentucky's staff has seen enough to know that a signature win isn't always a stepping stone to bigger things.
Sometimes it can be the rock that sinks the next game.
Neal Brown was happy to celebrate what he called "as big a win as we've probably had here when I was a player or as a coach" over South Carolina on Saturday night, but the offensive coordinator was eager to focus on the next game.
"This is a start," Brown said after the 45-38 victory over the Gamecocks. "But where do we go from here? Are we like other Kentucky teams and take a step back or do we build off this?"
He will caution his group not to let the victory carry over into Tuesday and Wednesday, key prep days for UK's next opponent non-conference foe Louisiana-Monroe.
A big win doesn't change anything, Mark Stoops said Monday.
After a big win or a big loss, the preparation schedule stays the same; the discussions stay about the process and getting better, he said.
"It's a one-week season for me," he said. "We gotta go play well this week, and it starts over. Win or lose, it starts over for us on Sunday. That's the way we approach it and that's the way our team needs to approach it."
The Cats staff doesn't have to go far back in history to find examples of letdowns after big games.
It could even point to one against Louisiana-Monroe in 2006, when Kentucky, coming off back-to-back Southeastern Conference victories over Georgia and Vanderbilt, had to survive a 42-40 shootout with the Skyhawks at Commonwealth Stadium.
The positive for Stoops and Brown is that the South Carolina game offered plenty of teaching points.
"We'll stay with the plan we do, but the message will be different," Stoops said. "They're going to hear enough good things from a lot of people, and they're excited. I'm good with that. But they're going to hear about some of the negative, too."
The coach's list of shortcomings was clear.
He was displeased with Kentucky's run defense, which was gashed for a season-high 282 yards and four touchdowns. It was the same run defense that had given up just two scores going into the game with the Gamecocks.
He was unhappy that UK, which had started games quickly this season, was manhandled in the first quarter and started in a 14-0 hole.
"They took the ball and just pounded it down our throat to start the game, and that took some momentum away," Stoops said. "Then on offense, we made a couple critical mistakes even though we moved the ball, and that's stuff we can get corrected."
One of Kentucky's key leaders on offense didn't seem satisfied with a win over South Carolina on Saturday night.
"It's huge. It's huge. It's huge," Patrick Towles said after the game. But the quarterback barely had time to take a breath before adding: "We're going to move forward. We're going to win a lot of games, because the tenacity and the passion that we showed tonight is going to win us a lot of football games moving forward."
'Trick' was a treat
Against a coach known for his trickery on offense, Kentucky had a little of its own up its sleeve on Saturday night.
Building off the Wildcat package it had used throughout the game, UK started in that formation, and then running back Jojo Kemp gave the ball to a sweeping Javess Blue. Blue pitched the ball to Towles, who then found a completely open Ryan Timmons for a 48-yard pass.
Timmons was so open, Towles was a little worried.
"Just don't overthrow him or underthrow him, just put it on him," Towles recalled telling himself. "Don't throw a perfect ball, just let him run under it. We ran that play a bunch in practice and of course he was wide-open every time. I'm thankful it was that wide-open in the game."
Stoops had seen it used on his defense enough to know that it had big-play potential.
"During the game when Neal called it, I said, 'I like it,'" Stoops said. "I thought it was the right time at the right spot.
"It's always good when it works."
Kentucky had tried the trick play, which Brown had used while at Texas Tech to beat Texas Christian in triple overtime, last season, but it fell apart against Tennessee.
"That was fun," he said of the play after UK's win. "It was a big play in the game. ... That place was loud when we hit that and Timmons scored. This place was electric."
For such a big play, it has a little bitty name.
When Brown was asked what he calls the play, he laughed and said: "Nothing. 'Trick?'"
Governor's Cup extended
The annual football series between Kentucky and Louisville will keep running through at least the 2019 season, according to documents obtained from both schools by the website FBSchedules.com.
The most recent extension to the Governor's Cup series was signed July 1 and maintains the game being at the end of the season for both schools with the following dates: Nov. 25, 2017 (Lexington), Nov. 24, 2018 (Louisville), and Nov. 30, 2019 (Lexington).
The previous contract that ran through 2016 has the games on the following dates: Nov. 28, 2015 (Lexington) and Nov. 26, 2016 (Louisville).
Win a bump for Stoops
Kentucky's win over South Carolina equaled an extra $100,000 for Mark Stoops per his contract.
And more wins will get him even more incentives.
If the team wins five or more conference games in a season, Stoops will get an additional $100,000.
If UK should win the Southeastern Conference's East Division or finish tied for first place, Stoops will get another $100,000 performance bonus and the assistant coaches will get pay equal to one month's salary.
Bud Dupree, who had the game-winning interception for a touchdown in Kentucky's win against South Carolina, was named the SEC's defensive lineman of the week. It was the Cats' first game-winning interception return since 1998.
Dupree also had six tackles in the game, including one-half tackle for loss.
Kentucky's game at Louisiana State will be at 7:30 p.m. on SEC Network.
■ A couple of depth chart updates: Kyle Meadows now listed as backup left tackle behind Darrian Miller. ... Cole Mosier, who started at left guard for West while he was out, is now listed as a backup right guard to Ramsey Meyers.
■ In the weekly questions about the status of wide receivers Alexander Montgomery and Jeff Badet, Stoops said there's no change. "Continue to work and rehab and run around, and they're doing some things. If they were 100 percent and ready to practice 100 percent, then I would have a decision to make. At this point they're not 100 percent."
When asked again about the red-shirt possibility, Stoops said he wasn't ready to declare that.
"They read these quotes, too, and they lay off," he said. "I need them to get back 100 percent and get ready to go."