By TEREZ A. PAYLOR
The Kansas City Star
Key play: With Kentucky driving deep in MU territory, Sheldon Richardson ripped the ball from running back Jonathan George, scooped it up and rumbled 60 yards, setting up MU’s first score.
Key stat: Receiver Gahn McGaffie had all three of MU’s receptions for 30 yards.
Key play: Kentucky botched a 54-yard field-goal attempt, giving MU the ball at its own 48. The Tigers then scored, taking a 17-10 lead into halftime.
Key stat: MU converted five of eight third-down attempts.
Key play: Missouri’s defense sacked Patrick Towles and recovered his fumble, which led to the Tigers’ third touchdown of the day.
Key stat: The Tigers have forced a turnover in 26 straight games.
Key play: E.J. Gaines returned a fumble 13 yards for a game-clinching touchdown.
Key stat: MU held Kentucky to 64 total yards after the Wildcats’ first two drives.
Player of the game: Senior running back Kendial Lawrence carried the ball 23 times for 108 yards and two touchdowns. He is clearly the offense’s best, and most consistent, weapon.
Reason to hope: Hey, a win is a win. And if MU can beat Syracuse and find a way to upset Florida, Tennessee or Texas A&M, the Tigers will be headed to a bowl for the eighth consecutive season.
Reason to mope: The passing game still didn’t show much bite, accounting for only 87 yards on 16 completions. A few special teams blunders soured MU coach Gary Pinkel’s mood, too.
Looking ahead: Missouri travels to “The Swamp” to face Florida next Saturday. The Gators are coming off a loss to rival Georgia.
| Terez A. Paylor, firstname.lastname@example.org