The Missouri Tigers are a now, six-point favorite in Saturday's game, set to kickoff at noon as the Wildcats travel to Colombia, Missouri for this SEC battle.
After a huge game-winning 51-yard field goal by Austin MacGinnis at the buzzer last weekend vs. Mississippi State, the Cats are looking to finally get to a bowl game. Beating Missouri will be the next step to do that. UK has not made a bowl since 2010, so, this would be a huge event for the university.
If Kentucky is going to get a big road win this weekend, here is my five keys to victory over Missouri.
1. Get Benny Snell and Boom involved. Benny Snell is coming off one of his best games of the season, as he rushed for 128 yards and a 35-yard touchdown run last weekend against Mississippi State. Snell is also averaging 5.8 yards per carry through the first seven games of the season. Stanley "Boom" Williams ran for 100 yards against Mississippi State, averaging 7.1 yards per carry. Benny and Boom will need to take advantage of Mississippi State's two best defenders out of the game due to injuries this weekend.
2. Stephen Johnson. Johnson has completed over 56 percent of his passes thus far into the season for 920 yards and five touchdowns. The junior Kentucky Quarterback passed for an outstanding 292 yards while completing 52 percent of his passes against Mississippi State last Saturday. With the two top defensive players of Missouri being out due to injury, Johnson will look to take advantage of the opportunity and finally put a whole game together.
3. Take advantage of depleted defense. With linebacker Michael Scherer and Cornerback John Gibson out with injuries, the Wildcats should be able to take advantage of thee opportunity. The UK run game with Boom and Snell SHOULD be able to thrive with Scherer out, and Johnson should be able to take advantage of Missouri's, some would say, best cornerback being out for this game.
4. Contain Drew Lock. Lock comes into Saturday's game, completing 52 percent of his passes for 1,995 passing yards and 16 touchdowns. Lock is a true sophomore for the Tigers, and now a seasoned started. Lock is very good, but sometimes his offensive line breaks down. If the Cats defensive line can get to him and cause him to get out of the pocket and force him into bad throws, the Cats should be fine.
5. Put together a whole game. The Cats are finally showing improvement when it comes to finishing and putting a complete game together. Last Saturday, the Cats finally finished a game. The game could have been over if Stephen Johnson or any of the offense would have put their head down after the fumble on Kentucky's own 8-yard line by Stephen Johnson. Luckily the cats stayed strong and finished the game. If the Cats can put a whole game together (4 quarters), then they should be fine to out-last the Tigers wearing that defense out running the ball.
If Kentucky wins this game against Missouri, who knows where the ceiling is. Six, seven, or even eight wins? Who knows.
All I know is, if the Cats get a big win this weekend, they will have a lot of momentum heading into Georgia next weekend under the lights at Commonwealth.
Kentucky 34, Missouri 24