Mark Story

First scouting report: Can Kentucky continue its hold over Missouri?

An early look ahead to the Kentucky Wildcats’ next football game:

The opponent

Kentucky (3-4, 1-4 SEC) will face SEC East rival Missouri (5-2, 2-1 SEC) on Saturday, Oct. 26, at 7:30 p.m. at Kroger Field. The game will be telecast on the SEC Network.

Coach Barry Odom’s Tigers were upset 21-14 on the road at Vanderbilt on Saturday.

Most recent meeting

Terry Wilson hit C.J. Conrad with a 2-yard touchdown pass on an untimed down at the end of the game to complete a miraculous Kentucky rally and give the Wildcats a 15-14 victory over host Missouri last season.

UK was down 14-3 inside the game’s final six minutes. However, a 67-yard punt-return touchdown from Lynn Bowden with 5:18 left flipped the momentum.

A controversial pass interference call of Missouri’s DeMarkus Acy in the end zone while trying to defend Kentucky’s Ahmad Wagner on the final play of regulation extended the game and set up the Cats’ game-winning TD.

The Josh Allen-led Wildcats defense held quarterback Drew Lock and Mizzou’s high-scoring offense without a first down on eight second-half possessions.

Series history

Kentucky leads the all-time series 6-3 and has won four straight over Missouri. Since the Tigers joined the SEC in 2012, UK is 4-3 vs. Mizzou.

Know your foe

1. With the loss at Vandy, Missouri is 5-0 at home and 0-2 on the road this year. Missouri opened its season with a 37-31 upset loss at Wyoming.

2. Former Clemson starting quarterback Kelly Bryant is spending a graduate-transfer season directing the Missouri offense. Entering the Vandy game, Bryant was completing 65 percent of his passes and had thrown for 1,575 yards and 12 touchdowns with only four interceptions.

In the loss in Nashville, Bryant was only 13-of-26 passing for 140 yards with one TD and one interception. He did lead Mizzou in rushing with 72 yards on 16 carries.

3. Missouri figures to arrive in Lexington in a salty state of mind. The Tigers have been unhappy about the officiating at the end of their past two losses to UK.

The pass interference call last season (see above) was preceded the prior year by the SEC office admitting game officials erred in the final seconds of Kentucky’s 40-34 win over Mizzou in 2017. The zebras did not see the Wildcats’ Josh Allen knock the ball from the hands of the Tigers’ J’Mon Moore as the wideout tried to hand the ball back to officials following a 1-yard pass completion.

Instead of 16 seconds on the clock with a chance to win the game, Missouri wound up with three seconds and only one opportunity to score a potential game-winning TD. That one chance ended in a pass interception.

Mark Story has worked in the Lexington Herald-Leader sports department since Aug. 27, 1990, and has been a Herald-Leader sports columnist since 2001. I have covered every Kentucky-Louisville football game since 1994, every UK-U of L basketball game but three since 1996-97 and every Kentucky Derby since 1994.
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