For the second week in a row, the Kentucky Wildcats were faced with another tough SEC matchup and having to play in less than ideal conditions. The Missouri Tigers, still a touch bitter about last season’s last-second victory by the Cats, came into Kroger Field with a chip on their shoulder. The driving rain and gusty winds added yet another level of difficulty for UK, a team desperately in need of another win if bowl eligibility is to remain in the picture.
— Cameron Mills Show (@cameronradio) October 26, 2019
After 1 quarter, it appeared that it would be a tight ball game as Missouri dominated the time of possession and the offensive stats (10:01 and 78 net yards) while the Cats let their defense keep the score even at zero. But the 2nd quarter was another story entirely. Kentucky dominated in every facet of the game, scoring 3 touchdowns and adding a field goal to take a 22-0 lead to the locker room at the half. The only “bad” mark was 2 missed PATs by Ruffolo. The Wildcats had 8 first downs, 122 rushing yards, and 63 net passing yards while holding Missouri to 1 first down and a loss of 12 net rushing yards.
Halftime brought a little more entertainment and perhaps a bit of controversy as 2 Missouri players chose to practice place kicks on the field while the band was still on the field performing their halftime show. An as-yet-unidentified person apparently from UK (he was wearing a blue sweatsuit) went to the Missouri players and from my vantage point, seemed to ask them to stop kicking while the band was on the field (I learned later this is an actual rule in the SEC that players may NOT warm-up while a school’s band is still on the field). As the person from UK was walking away, one of the Missouri players picked up the football and placed it on the kicking tee again fully intending to continue his activities. However, his plan was foiled as the UK person turned around and while the Missouri player was stepping backward to prepare for his kick, knocked the ball off the tee and across the field out of Tiger’s reach. Several more players took to the field when this happened, but the band was now leaving the field, so no more interactions occurred though it was reported UK videoed the entire scene and plans to send it to the league office this week.
Lots of drama going on during halftime. A couple of Mizzou players came out on the field to practice place kicks but the band was still on the field performing. I thought this was not exactly kosher and apparently I was correct as someone from UK went on the field …
— Cameron Mills Show (@cameronradio) October 27, 2019
The third quarter was not nearly as efficient for the Cats as they allowed Missouri to score their lone touchdown of the game. By the 4th quarter, deteriorating conditions led to multiple fumbles and things got a bit contentious between the teams as back-to-back late hits were called on a succession of plays. In spite of it all, UK managed to score another touchdown and defeated the Tigers soundly 29-7.
You could talk about the Duffy fake punt or that Sawyer Smith made a brief appearance and completed a pass or even point out Kentucky held the Tigers to less than 300 total yards (289). All of those things are certainly noteworthy. But the real story was Lynn Bowden and his 204 yards of rushing along with 2 touchdowns. There are not enough superlatives to adequately describe his game.
With the win, Kentucky has improved to a .500 record again at 4-4 and bowl eligibility seems a little more likely than it did a week ago. Seeing Sawyer Smith on the field again is also encouraging as it lessens that feeling of utter hopelessness should Bowden go down, for a play or for a game. And in this difficult season, we’ll take a win any way we can get it. That it was over Missouri for the 5th straight time made it all the sweeter.
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