UK Football

Blue Review: Instant analysis from Kentucky’s football win over Missouri

Stephen Johnson: We’re overjoyed to be 5-1

Kentucky quarterback Stephen Johnson talks about the 40-34 win over Missouri which improved UK to 5-1 on the season.
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Kentucky quarterback Stephen Johnson talks about the 40-34 win over Missouri which improved UK to 5-1 on the season.

Instant analysis from Kentucky’s 40-34 homecoming win over Missouri:

How the game was won

Stephen Johnson threw for 298 yards and two touchdowns and Austin MacGinnis kicked four field goals as UK survived on homecoming night.

Game balls

1. Stephen Johnson. All he does is win.

2. Garrett Johnson. Kentucky senior wideout (seven catches, 111 yards, one TD) was clutch on a night when clutch was needed.

3. UK special teams. Fake punt conversion by Kash Daniel and blocked field goal by Lonnie Johnson helped UK escape.

4. Austin MacGinnis. The UK place-kicker (314 career points) joined Dan Issel (men’s basketball) and Valerie Still (UK Hoops) as Kentucky all-time leading scorers.

5. Mark Stoops. His team is 5-1 — and saved the UK head coach from ample second-guessing over kicking a field goal up 37-34 from the 2-yard line with 1:48 left.

Running gassers

1. Kentucky secondary. Gave up more long balls than a bad pitching staff.

2. Kentucky ground game. So good a season ago. It’s amazing how difficult it has been this year for UK to get a rushing attack going.

3. Barry Odom. The embattled Missouri coach’s team made a stand and fought for him — but couldn’t get the win he really needed.

Key number

Three. With UK’s victory, the Wildcats still have all-time winning records against three current SEC opponents — Missouri (5-3), Arkansas (4-3) and Vanderbilt (43-42-4).

Fashion police

For its sixth game of the 2017 season, Kentucky wore blue matte helmets, anthracite jerseys with white numbers and letters and blue pants. Since the start of the 2016 season, UK is 3-1 in blue matte helmets.

Next up

Kentucky (5-1, 2-1 SEC) is off Oct. 14, but will return to action Oct. 21 at Mississippi State in a game whose start time and television information have yet to be announced. The Bulldogs (3-2, 1-2 SEC) were off Saturday and will face BYU in Starkville on Oct. 14.

Know your foe

1. Kentucky’s 40-38 win over Mississippi State last season in Lexington on MacGinnis’ 51-yard field goal at the buzzer was UK’s first victory over MSU Coach Dan Mullen after seven defeats.

2. UK’s last victory in Starkville was a 14-13 win on Nov. 1, 2008, in a game that allowed Rich Brooks’ Cats to achieve bowl eligibility for a third straight season. It was also the only game Randall Cobb won as UK’s starting quarterback in four career starts.

3. Mississippi State quarterback Nick Fitzgerald is a dual threat of the type that has traditionally given UK defenses fits. Last year against Kentucky, Fitzgerald ran for 107 yards and two touchdowns and threw for a third score. This season, the 6-foot-5, 230-pound junior has rushed for 343 yards and five TDs and thrown for 783 yards and eight scores. However, he is completing only 53 percent of his passes and has thrown five picks.

After the 40-34 win over Missouri, Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops talked about his high school coach Don Bucci, who was at the game.

Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops credited special teams coordinator Dean Hood with the fake punt call that resulted in Kash Daniels picking up a key first down in the fourth quarter.

Kentucky defensive coordinator Matt House talks about Missouri’s long completions. The Tigers completed four passes of 48 yards or more.

Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops updates media on the condition of quarterback Luke Wright, who collapsed on sideline during game with Missouri. Stoops also talks about UK’s 40-34 win.

UK football team finishes the game at Kroger Field beating Missouri with a 40-34 score.

Wes Taylor and Jada Linton were crowned UK 2017 homecoming king and queen during halftime of the UK football game against Missouri.

UK football team greets fans with hugs and high-fives as they walk the catwalk in front of Kroger Field before they face Missouri team.

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