KENTUCKY vs. MISSOURI
WHEN: SATURDAY, SEPT. 26, 7:30 P.M. ET
WHERE: COMMONWEALTH STADIUM (61,000) LEXINGTON, KY.
TV: SEC NETWORK
Record: 2-1, 1-1 SEC
Ranking: * Unranked
Coach: Mark Stoops (Iowa, 1989)
Record: 9-18 (Third season), at UK: 9-18 (Third season), vs. Missouri (0-2)
Series Record: Missouri leads 3-2
Previoius Game: Florida 14, Kentucky 9
Next Game: 10/3 vs. Eastern Kentucky
Record: 3-0, 0-0 SEC
Ranking: No. 25 AP
Coach: Gary Pinkel (Kent State 1973)
Record: 189-103-3 (25th season); at UM 166-66 (15th season); 2-0 vs. UK
Previous Game: Missouri 9, UConn 6
Next Game: 10/3 vs South Carolina
BIG BLUE KEYS TO THE GAME:
When Kentucky has the ball… Teams usually don’t get too many scoring opportunities against the stingy Missouri defense, which has allowed only 29 points this season, so you have to cash in when they present themselves. Miscues will be magnified in this type of matchup, much like they were last week against Florida. The offensive line has been solid in the ground game (8.1 ypc for sophomore RB Boom Williams) but has struggled occasionally with pass protection. That is a concern today. The Tigers are one of the better pass-rushing defenses in the country year in and year out, so keeping quarterback Patrick Towles upright and able to spot receivers down the field will be a huge key. Keep a close eye on the matchup between UK offensive tackles Jordan Swindle, George Asafo-Adjei/Kyle Meadows and Mizzou sophomore defensive end Charles Harris (No. 91, 3 sacks, 3 QBH). The Cats also have to account for the Tigers’ senior linebacker, Kentrell Brothers (No. 10, nation-leading 42 tackles, 2 INT) who is a rangy playmaker similar to previous opponent Skai Moore of South Carolina.
When Missouri has the ball… While the Tigers have been extremely impressive on the defensive side of the ball, the offense has been fairly inconsistent. The Tigers are averaging only 3.2 yards per rushing attempt against a schedule that has featured Southeast Missouri, Arkansas State and UConn to date. Not particularly world-beaters. If Mizzou picks up big chunks of yardage rushing early in this game, it could be a bad sign for the rest of the night. Junior quarterback Maty Mauk (No. 7, 474 yards, 5 TD, 4 INT) has been shaky, but UK fans have seen the damage he can do in the past. He was Mizzou’s leading rusher last year in Columbia, gaining 75 yards on 14 carries. His ability ability to extend plays with his legs is probably the single-biggest concern for the Cats in this matchup. Kentucky’s defensive ends and linebackers must play one of their most disciplined games of the season and attempt to force Mauk to beat them by standing in the pocket and throwing the ball. The Mizzou signal caller lacks the explosive playmakers he’s had at receiver in the past, and UK’s secondary has vastly improved, so that may be a matchup that favors the Cats. The timely return of UK’s most athletic linebacker, Ryan Flannigan, from a shoulder injury could also be a big key in slowing Mauk down.
Kentucky junior wide receiver Ryan Timmons needs 68 yards receiving to become the 25th player in school history to reach the 1,000-yard mark… Junior running back Jojo Kemp needs 61 yards rushing to become the 34th player in school history to reach the 1,000-yard mark.
ON THIS DAY IN UK HISTORY:
Kentucky defeated South Carolina 13-9 at Commonwealth Stadium as Bill Curry’s team opened the season with a 3-1 record. The Cats got a touchdown run from Terry Samuels and two field goals from Doug Pelfrey to hold off the Gamecocks.
- Kentucky is looking to snap a three-game home SEC losing streak.
- Missouri has won 11 consecutive road games dating back to the 2013 season. Only Ohio State and Florida State have a longer road winning streak in progress.
- The Tigers have recorded 41 sacks during their road winning streak.
- Mizzou is the two-time defending SEC East champions, winning the division with a 7-1 league mark each of the last two years.
- UK’s last win over Missouri came in 1968, a 12-6 triumph at Stoll Field.
- Sophomore wide receiver Garrett Johnson leads UK with nine “key” catches this season, defined as play that results in a first down or touchdown.
- The Kentucky and Missouri coaching staffs will be wearing Coach to Cure MD patches to raise awareness and funding for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy research. Fans are encouraged to donate online at www.CoachtoCureMD.org or donate $5 by texting CURE to 90999.