UK Looking for Third Straight SEC Win in Trip to Mizzou
After a thrilling 40-38 victory over Mississippi State, Kentucky travels to Missouri with a lot of the line on Halloween weekend. The Cats are seeking their first three-game Southeastern Conference winning streak since 1999 and first season of at least four wins in league play since 2006 under Rich Brooks. UK can also pull within one game of bowl eligibility with a win.
|Kentucky vs. Missouri|
|Sat., Oct. 29 - 12 p.m. ET
Game Notes: UK | MU
Digital Gameday Program
|UK||2016 Team Stats||MU|
|24.4||Kickoff returns (avg)||19.1|
|13.2||Punt returns (avg)||12.2|
|29:15||Time of possession/game||28:06|
|35.2%||Third down conversion||40.7%|
|85.7%||Fourth down conversion||53.8%|
|426.3||Total yards allowed/game||460.4|
|202.1||Rush yards allowed/game||220.4|
|224.1||Pass yards allowed/game||240.0|
UK has won four of its last five games with the only loss coming at No. 1 Alabama.
Offensively, Kentucky continues to run the football effectively, averaging 197.0 rushing yards per game after piling up 258 against Vanderbilt and 262 against Mississippi State the past two games. The Cats’ three-headed monster at running back of Boom Williams, Jojo Kemp and Benny Snell Jr. have provided fresh legs and versatility at the position.
Defensively, the Wildcats have continued to make significant strides since the first three games of the season, led by star linebacker Jordan Jones.
Cat Scratches: Next Step in UK's Growth to Get an Early Start
Night games have become the norm for Kentucky football, but this week the Wildcats will kick off against Missouri at noon ET, 11 a.m. local time.
For Mark Stoops, that’s a concern.
“You know, we play an 11 o’clock game and what do our players have to do, they have to be selfless again all week,” Stoops said on Monday. “They have to prepare and watch film and practice hard and they also have to get some sleep. We got to wake up and play at 11 o’clock Saturday.”
Stoops would later joke some of his players would prefer to still be sleeping in the late morning on the weekend, but the Cats (4-3, 3-2 SEC) say that’s not the case. Riding a streak of four wins in five games, there’s no place they’d rather be on a fall Saturday than the gridiron.
Cats vs. the Tigers
• The all-time series is tied 3-3 with Mizzou holding a 2-1 advantage in games played in Columbia. UK’s last win in Columbia was in the team’s first meeting in 1965, 7-0.
• Since Missouri joined the SEC the Tigers have won three of four meetings between the two Eastern Division teams.
• UK claimed last year’s meeting 21-13 in Lexington when Mizzou was ranked No. 25. It was the Cats’ first win over a ranked foe since 2010. UK came back from a 10-7 third quarter deficit to win the game.
• Missouri is 2-5 on the season and coming off a 51-45 defeat to Middle Tennessee at home. The Tigers have lost three in a row and are winless in SEC play.
• Missouri leads the SEC at 505.0 yards of total offense per game, as well as passing offense (304.6).
• Quarterback Drew Lock ranks second in the SEC in passing yards per game and third in total offense.
• Redshirt sophomore Kendall Blanton is the son of former Wildcat great Jerry Blanton. Jerry was a defensive lineman at Kentucky from 1974-77 and was the first freshman to become a varsity starter at UK. He started all four seasons in his collegiate career and led the Wildcats to a SEC Championship title and Peach Bowl win in 1976. He still ranks as the eighth all-time leading tackler with 389. He went on to play seven seasons in the NFL with the Kansas City Chiefs.
• UK head coach Mark Stoops and Missouri offensive coordinator Josh Heupel spent the 2005 season together at Arizona. Heupel the tight ends coach, while Stoops was the defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach.