The University of Kentucky wanted to make a statement entering the game with Western Kentucky on Saturday night.
Boy, did it ever. Jeremy Jarmon came off the end and got up close and personal with the Western Kentucky quarterback for a 9-yard sack.
The defensive tone was set, and Western was shut out of the end zone. Kentucky has kept the opponent out the end zone for three of its first four games.
There was one offense that got rolling in front of 70,731 fans. Kentucky gained 216 yards on the ground and throwing for 182.
Mike Hartline threw his first interception of the year on a tipped ball. Hartline did show poise and confidence yet again by not getting rattled. He just let it go.
Hartline ended the night going 19-for-30 for 172 yards and one touchdown and that lone interception.
The four-headed running back rotation did finally get the ground game going.
Tony Dixon ran for 45 yards and two scores. Reserves Derrick Locke, Moncell Allen and Alfonso Smith had a respectable 34, 41, and 67 yards.
Alfonso Smith had most of his yards on two touches of the ball. The first time he ran it was for 17 yards. Three plays later, he ran 35 yards to paydirt.
After Western finally got on the board with a field goal, Derrick Locke took the ball two yards deep into the end zone, and ran back 102 yards for a touchdown.
"Our kickoff-coverage team has been a big strength for us," Western Coach David Elson said. "They executed and Locke is really fast, and at that time the momentum changed. They took it to us in the second half."
Elson's prediction came true as Kentucky rolled up the points. At the end of the game, the scoreboard read Kentucky 41, Western Kentucky 3. This was the two teams' first meeting on the gridiron.
Kentucky did finally get a good showing from new field goal kicker Ryan Tydlacka. Tydlacka made his first two collegiate field goal kicks and his 7-of-7 on field goals dating back to his high school days.
Kentucky hopes the offense continues on into next week when they travel to Alabama for their first SEC game.