University of Missouri

Game report: Kentucky 21, No. 25 Missouri 13

Missouri quarterback Maty Mauk looked for an opening against Kentucky in Saturday’s game.
Missouri quarterback Maty Mauk looked for an opening against Kentucky in Saturday’s game. The Associated Press

First quarter

Key play: Missouri’s offensive line gave Maty Mauk endless time in the pocket, and after a thorough scanning of the field, he picked out sophomore J’Mon Moore for a 17-yard touchdown.

Key stat: Kentucky quarterback Patrick Towles, who was roughed up for six sacks against Florida last week and finished eight of 24 for 126 yards with two interceptions, completed eight of nine passes for 67 yards.

Second quarter

Key play: Towles eluded cornerback Aarion Penton and linebacker Michael Scherer a few yards downfield on a wonky-looking, option-keeper, then cut back across the field for a 14-yard touchdown on the first play of the period.

Key stat: Missouri had yet to commit a penalty, but Kentucky was flagged for five penalties and 46 yards in the first half, including on the Tigers’ scoring drive.

Third quarter

Key play: Missouri’s defense left Kentucky tight end C.J. Conrad uncovered on a release up the seam for an easy 24-yard touchdown pass from Towles and a 14-10 lead.

Key stat: The Tigers had given up only three second-half points this season before Conrad’s touchdown.

Fourth quarter

Key play: Towles’ second touchdown pass of the second half, a 5-yard fade to Dorian Baker, boosted Kentucky’s lead to two scores with 6:20 remaining.

Key stat: Missouri, which entered play allowing 112 passing yards per game, allowed Towles to complete 22 of 27 for 249 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions.

Player of the game: We’ll give it to junior linebacker Donavin Newsom, who had seven tackles with a team-high six solo stops. Newsom also had a sack and two tackles for a loss.

Reason to hope: The next two games are at home, beginning Saturday against a suspect South Carolina team, followed by homecoming against Florida.

Reason to mope: Missouri had four starters leave the game because of injuries — senior linebacker Kentrell Brothers (left ankle sprain), senior safety Ian Simon (head injury), junior tight end Sean Culkin (right knee sprain) and sophomore right tackle Nate Crawford (left ankle sprain).

Looking ahead: Missouri returns home and will face South Carolina, 2-2, which rallied from a six-point deficit and beat a dreadful Central Florida team 31-14. The Tigers and Gamecocks, who have formed a nice little rivalry, kick off at 11 a.m. Saturday at Memorial Stadium.

Tod Palmer: 816-234-4389, @todpalmer

Report card

C-

Offense

Quarterback Maty Mauk was 15 of 30 for 180 yards.

C+

Defense

Missouri gave up two second-half touchdowns on long drives.

B-

Special

teams

Punter Corey Fatony was a highlight, dropping five punts inside the 20-yard line, but the return game continues to provide little.

C

Coaching

Missouri played below average on offense and OK on defense.

  Comments