On paper, the revamped Kentucky cornerback tandem of Randall Burden and Martavious Neloms gave up three touchdowns to South Carolina receiver Alshon Jeffery last Saturday.
But if you look beyond the numbers, there is more to see.
For one, Burden and Neloms weren't physically overmatched against the Gamecocks wideouts, running stride for stride with them most of the afternoon. Where the two corners ran into problems was trying to make plays on the ball.
But they don't seem to have lost any confidence.
"We can run with any team we play against, whether it's Florida, Alabama or South Carolina," Burden said. "It's just a matter of getting the ball out when it's time."
Two of Jeffery's TDs came on Burden. On the first, Jeffery fought through tight coverage and brought in a 10-yard slant.
"I thought I played that pretty well," Burden said. "I was all up on him before he even caught the ball. He just brought it in and secured it."
Jeffery also made an acrobatic one-handed catch in the end zone over Burden for a 28-yarder.
"That was just a great catch on his part," Burden said.
Burden and Neloms might have to hold down the fort for another week or two. Star corner Trevard Lindley is out with a high ankle sprain, and fellow starter Paul Warford will try to play through an injured quad.
"You just have to learn how to finish," UK Coach Rich Brooks said. "The good news is, those guys weren't running 5 yards behind our guys. That just comes with experience. That's what Trevard can do so well. He can not only finish, but make plays on the ball. It's a confidence thing."
Neloms got turned around the wrong way in the end zone on Jeffery's third TD grab, but the UK freshman said he didn't have any problems shaking off the tough performance.
"I haven't lost any confidence," he said. "I'm sure (Auburn) is going to come my way this week. I've just got to get myself in better position to make plays."
After the game, Burden said, he received plenty of advice from fans, friends and relatives on how to turn around and play the ball. But UK secondary coach Chris Thurmond said it's not that simple.
"That's probably the most misunderstood thing in football," Thurmond said. "When I speak or talk to coaches, or at clinics, I've got a deal on tape called, 'The Question.'
"'The Question' is always, 'When do you look (for the ball) and when do you not look.' "
Thurmond said that when a defensive back is farther down the field than the receiver, it's OK to look for the ball. But when you're trailing the receiver, the best technique is to react to the receiver's hands when he makes a move.
"You see it every Sunday and during every college game," Thurmond said. "Everybody in the stands is yelling, 'Look for the ball, look for the ball.' But there's a time and a place to look for the ball. If you're behind the receiver, that accentuates the problem that you have."
As much as Thurmond preaches technique in practice, the reality is that Burden and Neloms will have to learn on the fly in games.
"There's a big difference between hitting balls on the range and being out on the course," Thurmond said. "You can be the best player in the world at practice, but when everything speeds up and people are coming at you and you have to see different things, yeah, experience comes in."
Defensive coordinator Steve Brown and Thurmond were quick to give Burden and Neloms positive reinforcement after the South Carolina game because keeping your mojo is essential to playing corner.
"They've got to understand that they're in great shape and should be confident about their position," Brown said. "When you're confident, you can be comfortable looking for the ball. Because of the speed of the game and everything happening so fast, you can get out of whack but, after seeing the film, they can see how great of shape they were in and can be comfortable and go make a play."
"You just have to tell them, hey, you've got to keep playing," Thurmond said. "The last thing you can do is get down on yourself at that position. It's like a quarterback who throws a pick. It's just, 'Hey, let's line up and play again.' "