Kentucky Falls to Missouri on Saturday
Ray Davis rushed for 128 yards and caught a touchdown pass but No. 24/23 Kentucky lost to Missouri 38-21 on Saturday night at Kroger Field.
Kentucky (5-2, 2-2 Southeastern Conference) got two touchdown passes from quarterback Devin Leary. But the UK signal caller also threw a pair of interceptions in the game.
Daveren Rayner, playing in place of the injured Trevin Wallace, led Kentucky with 10 tackles, while D’Eryk Jackson added nine.
Missouri (6-1, 3-1) got the first possession of the game and the UK defense allowed just one yard in the process of forcing a three and out. Missouri punted and Kentucky took over at its own 35 yard line.
Kentucky went immediately to the ground game to move the ball. UK’s first five plays were rushes, which got the Cats into the Missouri red zone. The Cats appeared to score on a Leary rush but the play was called back due to a holding penalty. Then, on third and five from the seven, Leary hit Davis for a touchdown. Alex Raynor added the point after and Kentucky led 7-0 with 8:32 to play in the first quarter.
Missouri made a first down on its next drive but the Tigers were stopped when Maxwell Hairston intercepted MU quarterback Brady Cook at the UK 37 yard line.
The Cats would again roll with the hot hand, Davis, to get into Missouri territory. Kentucky would get into the red zone and then Leary would run up the middle for a 13-yard touchdown, his first rushing score of the season, to extend the UK lead. Raynor added the PAT and Kentucky led 14-0 with 2:09 left in the first quarter.
The Tigers would again go three and out on their next possession, punting it back to the Cats with 58 seconds left in the first quarter. Kentucky would run three plays to end the quarter, which saw the Cats leading 14-0 after one period.
As the second quarter began, Kentucky punted the ball to Missouri, which took over at its own 36 yard line. The Tigers would get a 25-yard scramble from Cook to get to the UK 39 yard line. The drive would stall and Missouri lined up in punt formation. But punter Luke Bauer took the snap and threw the ball to Marquis Johnson down the left side for a 39-yard fake punt touchdown. Harrison Mevis added the extra point and Missouri cut the UK lead to 14-7 with 11:38 left in the half.
Kentucky went three and out on its next possession and the Cats were forced to punt it back to the Tigers. Missouri would take over at its own36 yard line with 9:39 to play in the half.
Missouri would put together another solid drive and would get into the red zone due to a UK penalty. The Tigers would get to the UK six but the Cats would hold and Mevis would convert a 25-yard field goal to cut the UK lead to 14-10 with 4:44 left in the half.
Kentucky would make one first down on the ensuing drive before Leary was sacked and the Cats were forced to punt. Missouri would get the ball back at its own 39 with 1:40 remaining in the half.
Missouri would take advantage of the extra possession, driving 61 yards in eight plays, culminating with an 18-yard touchdown pass from Cook to Theo Wease. Mevis added the PAT and Missouri led 17-14 with 15 seconds left in the half. That would be the halftime score.
Kentucky got the first possession of the second half but on the initial play from scrimmage, Leary connected with Barion Brown, who fumbled and Missouri recovered. The Tigers could not take full advantage of the field position. However, Missouri did get a 31-yard field goal from Mevis to extend the lead to 20-14 with 11:54 left in the third quarter.
After a Kentucky punt, Missouri started on its own 45 and the Tigers drove into Kentucky territory. But the drive stalled and Mevis attempted a 46-yard field goal, which was blocked by Tre’vonn Rybka and UK took possession.
On the ensuing drive, Kentucky faced a third and 15 when Leary scrambled for 19 yards, and a 10-yard penalty against Missouri took the ball across midfield. After a 13-yard rush by Davis, Leary hit Jordan Dingle for 31 yards, getting the Cats to the Missouri two yard line. Two plays later, Leary hit Anthony Brown-Stephens with a four-yard scoring pass. Raynor added the extra point and Kentucky re-took the lead, 21-20, with 3:39 left in the third period. That would be the score after three quarters.
On the second play of the fourth quarter, Cook went around right end for a two-yard touchdown to give Missouri the lead 26-21. The Tigers went for two, but the pass failed. However, Kentucky was penalized on the play and Missouri got a second chance and Cody Schrader took it up the middle for the conversion, giving the Tigers a 28-21 lead with 14:14 to play.
Kentucky went three and out with its next possession, then a short punt and a penalty gave Missouri the ball at the UK 34 with 12:04 to play. The Tigers would take advantage of the short field, with Schrader rushing for a 19-yard touchdown. Mevis added the point after and the Tigers led 35-21 with 11:07 to play.
The Cats quickly struck back. Leary connected with Dane Key for 21 yards, then the Tigers were called for pass interference, getting the Cats to the Missouri 20. But later in the drive, Leary was picked off by Missouri’s Marcus Clarke and Missouri took over at their own 14 with 9:28 to play.
Missouri would add a late field goal to provide the final margin of victory.
Kentucky is off next Saturday before hosting Tennessee on Oct. 28. Kickoff time for that game should be announced on Monday.