Kentucky coach Mark Stoops came to the podium victorious Monday for the first time since Oct. 5. He praised freshman QB Drew Barker, who ended the Wildcats’ five-game losing streak in his first career start.

Barker finished the 58-10 win over Charlotte going 16 for 29 for 129 yards and no touchdowns. Not exactly a dominant stat line, but it was the Wildcats’ first game without an interception since Sept. 26.

The team hit a rough patch in 2015, losing five straight going into the game with Charlotte, but Stoops seemed fully aware of where Kentucky’s been and where the football program is heading as they prepare for the regular-season finale Saturday against rival Louisville.

One of the many offensive problems facing the Wildcats this season has been the pass protection. Only two SEC teams have allowed more sacks than Kentucky’s 27. If the Wildcats want Barker to succeed, they’re going to need to protect him.

Barker was sacked twice Saturday, but the offensive line opened lanes that led to 415 rushing yards and 6 TDs. The best way to help compliment a passing game is with a better rushing attack.

Saturday, Kentucky plays for a bowl bid, needing to beat Louisville (6-5). Last year Kentucky lost the same matchup to the Cardinals 44-40 in the game that decides who the best football team from the state of Kentucky is.

Though the final stretch of 2015 has proven to be nearly as difficult as 2014, Stoops remains confident in the program’s future.