The Kentucky Wildcats picked up a huge victory at rainy Kroger Field Saturday night as they upset the Missouri Tigers to win their fourth game of the season.
Read all about the victory with tonight’s game story.
Despite the pouring rain, Missouri won the opening toss and elected to receive. The decision would not work the way the Tigers would’ve liked as they went three and out after Josh Paschal sacked quarterback Kelly Bryant on third down. After the punt, Lynn Bowden led the Wildcats offense onto the field for their first drive. Unlike Missouri, the Wildcats would gain yardage on the drive but would not pick up a first down as they went three and out and punted the ball back to the Tigers. On their second drive of the day, Missouri’s offense showed off their speed. Larry Rountree III, Tyler Badie and Bryant combined for 59 rushing yards to help set up Tyler McCann for a 45-yard field goal. This would not be enough as McCann’s kick would miss wide as the long Missouri drive failed to produce points. Kentucky’s second drive got off to a great start as on third and short, Ahmad Wagner drew a pass interference penalty against Missouri’s Jarvis Ware. This would not lead to any points; however, as Bowden fumbled after a five-yard run and Tiger defensive back, DeMarkus Acy jumped on it to give possession back to Missouri at their own 49. Luckily for the Wildcats the turnover would not prove costly as the defense forced a McCann punt to regain possession. The first quarter came to a close after a first down run by Kavosiey Smoke setting the Cats up with a 1st and 10 from their own 25.
Score After First Quarter: Kentucky 0, Missouri 0
After the quick break, Kentucky finally began to generate a passing attack. Bowden hit Clevan Thomas for a nine-yard gain and then hit Bryce Oliver for a gain of 44 to move inside the Missouri 20 yard line. Bowden would then run for an 18 yard gain setting up a one-yard Smoke touchdown run. Matt Ruffolo would miss the extra point attempt; however, as Kentucky’s lead stayed at 6-0. Kentucky’s defense would give their offense a chance to add onto the lead as they forced another three and out after Calvin Taylor strip-sacked Bryant. The Tigers recovered the fumble, but it came on third down, forcing a punt that was returned 18 yards by Josh Ali, setting up the Wildcats at the Missouri 45 yard line. Kentucky’s ensuing drive was a wild one. After a 10 yard run, Bowden held his ankle in pain, forcing Sawyer Smith into action. The Cats would run three plays with Smith under center that included a nine-yard pass to Ali. Then Bowden checked back in and ran for a two-yard gain to convert on fourth and two. This would set up Rose for a 20-yard touchdown, but again Ruffolo’s extra point missed as the Kentucky lead increased to 12-0. Kentucky’s defense again would come up big on the ensuing Missouri possession forcing another punt. After two small gains Bowden proved his knee was just fine as he ran for a 46 yard gain to move Kentucky to the Missouri 30 yard line. After an incomplete pass on third down, Kentucky turned to Chance Poore for a 43-yard field goal attempt. Poore, who had not seen action since September 22nd, nailed the kick as he extended the Wildcat lead to 15-0. It appeared this would be the final score of the half, but the Wildcats defense said not so fast. Jordan Wright strip-sacked Bryant, and this time the Wildcats fell on it as Wright recovered it at the Missouri 20 yard line with 22 seconds left in the half. Kentucky would move to the 10-yard line after a face mask penalty and which set up a 10 yard Bowden touchdown run to put the Wildcats on top 22-0 at the half after Poore converted on the extra point.
Halftime Score: Kentucky 22, Missouri 0
Kentucky started the half on offense, but it was a quick drive as they went three and out. Missouri would take advantage as they quickly got right back in the game after Bryant hit Badie for a 74-yard touchdown to trim the Kentucky lead to 22-7. Missouri’s defense rewarded the offense with a big play of their own as on the next Kentucky possession Tyree Gillespie forced a fumble that was recovered by Joshuah Bledsoe to set up the Tigers at the Kentucky 44 yard line. The Tigers again would not be able to take advantage of a Bowden fumble as a holding penalty set them back 10 yards and eventually forced them to punt. Kentucky would go three and out on their ensuing possession, but Duffy made the punt count as he recorded a carer long 70-yard boot to flip the field. Missouri reclaimed possession with a new quarterback under center as Taylor Powell replaced a banged-up Bryant. The drive got off to a good start after Kentucky’s Jamari Brown was called for pass interference. Later in the drive, Powell ran for a 13 yard gain as the Tigers moved inside the Wildcat 25 yard-line. Despite the success, the drive came down to a fourth and two from the Kentucky 17 yard line. That’s when the drive came to an end as Powell’s pass fell incomplete, leading to a turnover on downs with just under a minute left in the third quarter. Kentucky would run two plays for a combined four yards before the quarter came to a close with the Wildcats facing a third and six from their own 21.
Score After Third Quarter: Kentucky 22, Missouri 7
The first play of the fourth saw Bowden take a big hit on third down. However, this did not end the drive as Duffy faked the punt and ran it 26 yards for a first down. 15 yards of the run would be taken off; however, as Kentucky’s Jamin Davis was called for a late hit out of bounds. Soon after the Duffy run, Bowden moved the Wildcats inside the Missouri 35 with a 34-yard run. This set up another big run as Bowden sprinted into the end zone from 33 yards out to extend the Wildcat lead to 29-7. Down 22, Missouri was forced to go for it on fourth and one at the Kentucky 46. They would again fail to pick up the first as Chris Oates forced a Rountree fumble that was scooped up by Jordan Griffin as Kentucky regained possession with just under 10 minutes left in the game. This would prove the nail in the coffin as the Wildcats went on to run out the clock and secure their fourth victory of the season.
Final Score: Kentucky 29, Missouri 7
MVP: Lynn Bowden
It’s hard to imagine anyone other than Lynn Bowden will start at quarterback for the rest of the 2019 season. Bowden ran for an incredible 204 yards with two touchdowns and added 54 yards passing, including a 44-yard completion to Bryce Oliver.
HONORABLE MENTION: Max Duffy
Another honorable mention for Max Duffy? You bet. Not only did Duffy punt five times averaging 52.4 yards per punt that included a carer long 70 boot, but he ran for 26 yards on a fake punt that helped set up a Lynn Bowden touchdown.
Here’s a look at tonight’s highlights from UK Athletics.