UK Welcomes Missouri to Commonwealth Stadium for First Time
Nov. 7, 2013
UK Athletics Hosts "Heroes Day" Saturday: UK Athletics invites all active, reserve and veteran members of the armed forces along with police, firefighters and first responders to attend the game. Members of the organizations with a personal ID reflective of their service will receive two tickets, one for themselves and a guest. Individual tickets may be obtained on game day with the presentation of a service ID at the ticket booth outside Gate 4.
Kentucky will get back to the Southeastern Conference schedule with a Noon ET tilt against the SEC East-leading, ninth-ranked Missouri Tigers on Saturday.
The game will mark Missouri’s first trip to Commonwealth Stadium. The Tigers have only played in Lexington once: a 12-6 UK victory to open the 1968 season when the Wildcats were playing at Stoll Field. UK leads the all-time series 2-1, with two wins in the 1960s, while Mizzou won last season in Columbia.
Both teams are coming off bounce-back victories last Saturday. The Wildcats defeated Alabama State 48-14, while Missouri topped Tennessee 31-3.
Jalen Whitlow recovered nicely from multiple nagging injuries to turn in a strong performance last week. The sophomore quarterback produced four UK touchdowns, two passing and two rushing, while becoming UK’s first single-game 100-yard rusher of 2013 against Alabama State.
Defensively, UK’s pass rush has been strong throughout the season as the Wildcats rank sixth in the league in sacks with 18. Juniors Za’Darius Smith and Alvin “Bud” Dupree are tied for fifth in the league in sacks as each has 5.5 this season. Dupree also has the ninth most tackles for loss in the SEC in 2013.
Cat Scratches: Balance makes facing Tigers a tall task
After a day of watching film, Mark Stoops publicly kicks off game week at his Monday press conference.
There, he begins his question-answer-session with the media with some comments reflecting on Kentucky’s last game before talking in general about his team’s upcoming opponent.
He always has good things to say, but he was uniquely effusive in his praise of Missouri. ... read the full preview
Missouri enters Saturday’s game with an 8-1 record after starting the season with seven straight wins. The Tigers lone setback of 2013 came two weekends ago when South Carolina earned a 27-24 win in double overtime. The Tigers are coming off a 31-3 win over Tennessee last weekend at Faurot Field to increased the Tigers SEC East leading conference record to 4-1. MIZZOU played all four of its non-conference games this season at the beginning of the schedule, earning wins over Murray State, Toledo, Indiana and Arkansas State. After Saturday’s game with Kentucky, MU has a bye week before traveling to Ole Miss the week following and eventually ending the season with Texas A&M at home.
In the early part of the season, the Missouri offense was led by senior quarterback James Franklin, who still leads the team in passing and is fourth on the squad in rushing, despite having missed the last three games due to injury. Franklin’s replacement, redshirt freshman Maty Mauk, has been solid, completing nearly 50 percent of his passes with five touchdowns. The running game has been steady for the offense led by junior running back Henry Josey, who has 114 carries for 647 yards and eight touchdowns, while sophomore Russell Hansbrough is second on the team with 75 carries for 510 yards and four touchdowns. A talented group of wide receivers has helped Missouri has a strong passing offense with senior WR Marcus Lucas making 43 catches this season for 522 yards and two touchdowns, while senior WR L’Damian Washington has 36 catches for nine touchdowns. Sophomore wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham has 33 catches for 479 yards and five touchdowns.
Missouri’s defense has been one of the best units in the nation this season ranking fourth in the SEC in scoring defense and third in the conference in rushing defense. What has made Missouri’s defense so impressive is its ability to create turnovers. The Tigers are an impressive +15 in turnover margin this season, forcing 10 fumbles with seven recoveries to go along with 17 interceptions. Senior linebacker Andrew Wilson paces the team in tackles with 64, adding three tackles for loss, two pass breakups and two quarterback hurries, while senior defensive lineman Michael Sam has an impressive 16 tackles for loss this season, includ- ing 10 sacks and three quarterback hurries. Senior defensive back E.J. Gaines has four interceptions to lead the Missouri secondary. He is one of 11 Tiger players with an interception this season.