With a stinker of a loss behind them and the NCAA appeal still looming large, all the Missouri Tigers can do is look ahead. At least, that’s what quarterback Kelly Bryant said following the 21-14 defeat to Vanderbilt last Saturday.
The Tigers are again on the road this Saturday to face a struggling SEC East team. Sound familiar? This time, though, it’s against a Kentucky squad the Tigers know all too well from last year.
Here’s a look at this week’s game.
Kickoff: 6:30 p.m. Saturday
Where: Kroger Field, Lexington, Kentucky
TV: SEC Network
Betting line: Missouri by 10
Radio: KMBZ (98.1 FM)
Five things to know
Time for revenge and stress relief: Tigers fans can’t and won’t forget the heartbreaking 15-14 loss from last year, falling on the final play of the game. After a disappointing SEC East loss to Vanderbilt, MU has a chance to kill a pair of bad memories against Kentucky.
Defense still paces UK: Kentucky lost its All-American linebacker Josh Allen from its 10-win 2018 season, but still boast a decent-but-not-great defense. Through its first seven games of the season, the Wildcats are allowing 23.3 points per game, 47th in the nation. Not one of the best, but not anything to scoff at either.
Cats lethargic on offense: Much like last year, the Kentucky offense lags behind the defense. This time, though, the offense is one of the worst in the nation. The Wildcats are scoring just 20.1 points per game, 114th in the nation (out of 130 teams).
Quarterback carousel: Much like Vanderbilt — who was juggling its own quarterback situation — Kentucky is in a similar boat. UK starter Lynn Bowden Jr. completed just 2 of 15 passes for 17 yards in the shutout loss to Georgia. The former wide receiver was pressed into action after a season-ending injury to starter Terry Wilson and former backup Sayer Smith.
Strong at home: While Kentucky (3-4, 1-4 SEC) has struggled in conference play, it sports a winning home record at 3-1. Two of those games did come against MAC opponents, but for a Missouri team winless on the road in two tries, it’s another test to see how they look away from Faurot Field.