USA Today/Denny Medley

Relentless rushing attack of Snell, Williams leads Kentucky Wildcats to 35-21 win at Missouri

For the first time since the Southeastern Conference introduced divisional play in 1992, Kentucky may be in the thick of the East race going into November.

The Wildcats improved to 5-3 overall and 4-2 in the SEC on Saturday with a 35-21 victory at Missouri, thanks to a two-headed rushing attack which saw Benny Snell ramble for 192 yards and two touchdowns while junior Boom Williams slashed for 182 yards and one score. 

It marked only the second time in the last 10 years that an SEC team has produced two 175-plus rushers in a league game.

"It's awesome to see," UK head coach Mark Stoops said. "We've got quite a few guys playing (on the offensive line), and they're enjoying the physicality of it."

Said Snell: "Guys are down on the sideline and the line is yelling, getting us hype, and I’m just grateful for the line we got."

Kentucky now awaits the result of this afternoon's Georgia-Florida matchup in Jacksonville, Fla. If the Bulldogs win, the Cats would jump into first place in the SEC East with next week's home game against UGA looming.

The Cats topped the 500-yard mark in total offense for the second week in a row, recording 582 against the Tigers. Of those, 377 came on the ground with Johnson providing 205 through the air.

Kentucky jumped on the Tigers for a 21-0 lead in the second quarter as its defense forced punts on Missouri's first six possessions. A 60-yard touchdown run by Williams and a 1-yard TD run by Snell sandwiched a 65-yard scoring pass from Stephen Johnson to Jeff Badet.

https://twitter.com/SECNetwork/status/792402318306250752

UK stretched the lead to 28-7 in the third quarter on a 13-yard touchdown pass from Johnson to Williams. A 26-yard TD run by Snell on the first play of the fourth quarter essentially put the game away for the Cats.

Missouri (2-6, 1-3 SEC) scored a pair of late touchdowns to make the final score more respectable. Johnathon Johnson returned a punt 63 yards to set up a 1-yard touchdown run by Josh Augusta, and Drew Lock found Dimetrios Mason for a 57-yard TD strike. The duo also connected on a 27-yard touchdown pass earlier in the game for Missouri's first score.

In this All Wildcats "Rapid Recap" feature, we touch on some of the highlights from UK's win... 

WHAT WE LIKED:

Kentucky did exactly what it hoped to do leading up to the matchup with uptempo Mizzou. The Cats dominated the line of scrimmage, rushing for 377 yards and winning time of possession with 39 minutes and 36 seconds on their side of the ledger. With the defense able to stay fresh, UK did a respectable job against a Mizzou offense that entered the game leading the SEC in total offense. The Cats held the Tigers to 386 yards, 119 under their average.

GAME BALL:

Benny Snell, Kentucky --  The freshman running back from Ohio had a record-setting day, establishing new UK marks for single-game rushing yards by a freshman (192) and most rushing touchdowns in a season by a freshman (8). The first mark was previously held by Derrick Logan with 186 yards in 1996 against Mississippi State; the latter was held by Randall Cobb in 2008. Snell's 38 carries were the most by a Cat since the workhorse he's often been compared to, Artose Pinner, had 31 in a 2002 game against Vanderbilt.

BY THE NUMBERS:

-2 - Turnover margin for Cats, who find a way to win yet again with the upside down giveaway figure.

4 - Third-down conversions by Mizzou on 15 attempts.

8th - Player to reach the 2,000 rushing yards plateau in school history, Boom Williams, who moved past Artose Pinner into seventh on the school's career rushing list.

14 - Largest road-win margin of victory in an SEC game since a 21-point win at Mississippi State in 2002.

1965 - UK's last win in Columbia, Mo.

2006 - The last time UK had four wins in league play.

QUOTABLE:

"Are we satisfied? We are not, and that's what I like about this team." -- UK head coach Mark Stoops.

UP NEXT:

Kentucky returns to action next Saturday against Georgia in a 7:30 p.m. ET kickoff at Commonwealth Stadium. The Bulldogs (4-3, 2-3 SEC) were playing Florida later today.


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