Kentucky Sports

Blue Review: Instant analysis from Kentucky's win over Missouri

Kentucky Wildcats running back Jojo Kemp (3) goes over defenders during the second half as host UK took on Missouri at the New Commonwealth Stadium on Saturday September 26, 2015, Lexington, Ky.  Photo by Mark Mahan
Kentucky Wildcats running back Jojo Kemp (3) goes over defenders during the second half as host UK took on Missouri at the New Commonwealth Stadium on Saturday September 26, 2015, Lexington, Ky. Photo by Mark Mahan Herald-Leader

Instant analysis from Kentucky’s 21-13 win over Missouri:

How the game was won

Patrick Towles emphatically re-asserted his hold on Kentucky’s starting quarterback job with rapier-sharp passing, and UK’s suddenly stout defense controlled UK nemesis Maty Mauk.

Who is up

1. Patrick Towles. After the Fort Thomas Highlands product completed 22 of 27 passes for 249 yards and two touchdowns, there will be no talk about his accuracy this week.

2. The Kentucky wide receivers. A week after the UK wide-outs were panned for not making the tough catches against Florida, Garrett Johnson (six catches, 119 yards) and Dorian Baker (five catches, a TD and a spectacular one-handed catch) came up huge.

3. Jojo Kemp. Hurdling a defender to get a first down never goes out of style.

4. Corey Johnson. The Kentucky senior defensive tackle had the game of his career with 11 tackles, including half a sack.

5. Kentucky linebackers. For the first time this season, UK had its projected starting linebackers — Josh Forrest (nine tackles), Jason Hatcher (eight), Ryan Flannigan (eight), Denzil Ware (five) — on the field together. It was good.

Who is down

1. Missouri’s offense. The Tigers are lacking in game-breaking playmakers.

Key number

81.5. Completing only 51.7 percent of his passes in his last seven starts before Missouri, Patrick Towles completed 81.5 percent against the Tigers and hit on his last 11 passes of the first half.

Fashion Forward

For the 2015 season’s fourth game, the Wildcats wore blue chrome helmets, gray jerseys and blue pants.

Up next

Kentucky will be back in Commonwealth Stadium on Saturday night at 7:30 on an SEC Network alternate channel against intrastate rival Eastern Kentucky. Dean Hood’s Colonels (2-1) whacked OVC rival Austin Peay 51-13 Saturday. Know your foe

1. Though the campuses of UK and EKU are separated by only 26.6 miles, the two schools have only met three prior times in football. Kentucky is 3-0 vs. the Colonels, having beaten Eastern 52-7 in 1998, 51-10 in 2007 and 37-12 in 2009.

2. Eastern’s top offensive player, running back Dy’Shawn Mobley, is a former Kentucky Wildcat. In his last two games for UK in 2013, the 6-foot, 225-pound product of Powell, Tenn., had a 69-yard TD run at Georgia and a 143-yards rushing game against Tennessee.

3. EKU’s top defensive player, Noah Spence, is a former Ohio State Buckeye. Once a five-star OSU recruit out of Harrisburg, Pa., Spence was a first-team All-Big Ten defensive end in 2013 after recording eight sacks and 14.5 tackles for loss. The 6-3, 255-pounder missed the 2014 season at OSU after he was suspended and then transferred to EKU.

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