The game was billed as a top-of-the table clash with Hull heading into the encounter as Championship leaders while Derby were only two points behind in fourth.
The Rams were quickest out of the blocks, applying plenty of early pressure before two superb strikes from Jacob Butterfield handed them a commanding lead going in to half-time.
Despite sustained second-half pressure from Hull, Derby defended brilliantly and denied the hosts a way back into the match with goalkeeper Scott Carson in particularly good form.
Commenting on Twitter after the match, former Derby defender Higginbotham admitted that he didn’t tip the Rams for victory but felt that their performance fully warranted the three points.
Fantastic performance from @dcfcofficial this evening. Didn't tip them before the game but well worth the win. Outstanding.— Danny Higginbotham (@Higginbotham05) noviembre 27, 2015
Derby’s performance was arguably all the more impressive considering that record signing Bradley Johnson was suspended while regular left-back Craig Forsyth is out with an ACL injury.
Hull themselves were missing key players in Andrew Robertson and Michael Dawson, and it showed at times as they looked shaky at the back and prone to mistake in possession.
Shaun Maloney missed the Tigers’ best chance to get back into the clash, while Tom Ince was a whisker away from giving Derby a spectacular late third on a cold and wet night at the KC Stadium.
The victory sees Paul Clement’s men momentarily top the Championship, an outstanding achievement when taking into account they picked up just four points from their opening five league matches.