The defense has improved.
"Obviously, this was a great way to start the season," Kentucky football coach Rich Brooks said. "We talked about (how) we thought we had a defense and today, by golly we did.
"The defense took it upon themselves to score enough points for us to win this game."
It marked the first time since 1976 a defense of any kind at Kentucky has held an opponents offense to zero points.
"Our defense kept making play, after play after play," Brooks said.
Kentucky defensive coordinator Steve Brown doesn't put much into the theory that his team's defense will be counted on to carry the load this season, but likes the fact they are improving.
"We've got to try to get better and we got better today," he said. "Regardless of how it happened, whether 3-2 or 50-49 - I don't care. We're 1-0 and we beat Louisville. Now we've got to get ready for Norfolk State."
Neither team's offense was impressive, but Kentucky's defense had a lot to do with Louisville"s poor showing.
Louisville managed just 104 total yards against Kentucky in the first half and held the hosts to just 18 yards in the second quarter. Overall, the hosts budged out just 205 yards and forced five turnovers, three of which produced scores.
Defensive end Jeremy Jarmon wasn't surprised by Kentucky's surprise showing on the scoreboard.
"We have a defensive offense," he said. "We have enough players out there who (can score). We"ll take it any way we can get it. It was a great performance."
In addition, it was Kentucky's secondary that prevented Louisville quarterback Hunter Cantwell from getting into a groove in Louisville's first game of the post-Brian Brohm era.
The Wildcats collected six pass breakups, including two each by David Jones and Jarmon. Those deflections were indicative of the Cats' in-your-face approach against Louisville's wide receivers.
Jarmon tipped two passes by Cantwell, while linebacker Braxton Kelley sacked Cantwell for an eight-yard loss to end the third quarter. Kelley's sack thwarted a Louisville drive that featured a 27-yard strike from Cantwell to Doug Beaumont.
Kentucky's defense produced the first touchdown of the season when Ashton Cobb raced 31 yards into the end zone after scooping up a fumble by Louisville running back Bilal Powell. Cobb's touchdown was courtesy of teammate Myron Pryor who forced the successful turnover.
Following Cobb's touchdown, the Cardinals threatened and advanced to the Kentucky 21-yard line, but the Wildcats came up with a big stop on fourth-and-two, stopping Brock Bolen for no gain.
Defensive lineman Myron Pryor put the finishing touches on the defensive showcase with a 72-yard fumble recovery with 2:46 remaining for the final margin.
"It was a big day for us," Pryor said.