By James Stanley
In a football game that the University of Missouri kept close, the Kentucky Wildcats prevailed 40-34 in front of a crowd of more than 57,000 at Kroger Field in Lexington, Ky.
Following the loss, the Missouri Tigers have not won a SEC road game since November 2014 the last year Mizzou won the SEC East.
Missouri trailed 10-0 at the end of the first quarter, but outscored Kentucky 14-10 in the second quarter. The Tigers kept the game close in the second half and tied the game 34-34 with 14:09 left to play on a 75-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Drew Lock to redshirt sophomore Johnathan Johnson.
Lock also threw a 50-yard touchdown pass to senior wide receiver J’Mon Moore for Missouri’s first points of the game in the second quarter, and a 58-yard touchdown strike to junior wide out Emanuel Hall with 40 seconds remaining in the first half. Hall’s touchdown reception was the quickest for Missouri this season taking only nine seconds.
Lock finished completing 22 of 42 passes for 355 yards, three touchdowns through the air, and a rushing touchdown.
Kentucky’s senior quarterback Stephen Johnson completed the evening with two touchdowns on 298 yards and completing 22 of 36 passes. Mizzou’s secondary intercepted one of Johnson’s passes while Lock threw zero interceptions.
The Wildcats kicking game was on point against the Tigers. Senior kicker Austin MacGinnis became the University of Kentucky’s all-time leading scorer with 360 points after making his second PAT of the night in the second quarter. MacGinnis collected 16 points by the end of the night on four field goals and four extra points with a game-long field goal of 53-yards to give Kentucky the lead in the fourth quarter.
Missouri had 568 yards of total offense, 82 more yards than Kentucky. The Tigers had a chance to win the game with three seconds left in the contest and the ball on the Kentucky 28-yard line. However, Lock was unable to find a target in the end zone to tie the game and hand things over to Missouri sophomore kicker Tucker McCann to hit an extra point for the win.
Missouri falls to 1-4 on the year with a 0-3 record in Southeastern Conference play. The Tigers are tied for seventh in the SEC East with Tennessee and Vanderbilt. Kentucky improves to 5-1 and third in a very close race with Florida and Georgia for the top dog in the SEC East.
Next week Missouri travels to Athens, Ga. take on the fifth ranked Georgia Bulldogs between the hedges.