Andre’ Chapman | Analyzed Sports
2014. That was the last time Kentucky started out a season with a 5-1 record. Now a few years later, the Wildcats (5-1, 2-1) have reached that mark again after beating the Missouri Tigers 40-34 Saturday night in front of a packed Kroger field. The 2014 team finished 5-7 and 2-6 in the South Eastern Conference. The Wildcats going into the bye week hope to sustain a winning record during the rest of the football schedule to secure a great season for the football program.
The Wildcats lead the all-time series against the Tigers 5-3, while UK head coach Mark Stoops received a 3-2 overall winning record after the homecoming victory against the Tigers.
Missouri (1-4, 0-3) came up with two big touchdown passes in the 2nd quarter to keep the game within striking distance. The first touchdown pass was a 50-yard strike from QB Drew Lock to redshirt senior J’Mon Moore with 7:13 remaining in the 2nd quarter. The Tigers Emanual Hall was the second recipient of a 58-yard Drew Lock touchdown pass from a fly route with 40 seconds left until halftime.
Kentucky RB Benny Snell had a nice explosion play as well in the 2nd quarter when he darted through the line to outrun the Missouri defense for a 71-yard touchdown. The score going into the half would be Kentucky 20 Missouri 14 with the Tigers clearly having the momentum heading into the locker room.
Snell would put the Wildcats up 27-17 on a 6-yard run with 6:39 left in the third but the Tigers would answer on a 1-yard QB keeper from Drew Lock to keep Missouri within striking distance at 27-24 with 5:30 remaining in the 3rd quarter.
The Wildcats would try to work the clock, holding onto a 37-34 lead for most of the fourth quarter, but would settle for an Austin MacGinnis 20 yard field goal with 1:48 remaining in the game to extend to lead to 40-34. The Wildcats would need one more stop of the Tigers who were threatening to score from the 28-yard line with 5 seconds left in the game to hold on for the 40-34 victory.