Another week sees another close game, as Kentucky barely outlasted Eastern Michigan in a 24-20 win.
They now host Missouri, who they opened as a 14-point favorite against. You can almost certainly take the under* in that as the Cats have been incapable of blowing a team out this year and that will likely continue.
There’s still a good chance they beat Missouri, but it’d be surprising if it’s a double-digit win.
*Don’t actually take my gambling advice
- Kentucky leads the all-time series vs. Missouri, 4-3.
- Kentucky won the last meeting, 35-21 on the road.
- The Cats rushed for 377 yards against the Tigers in 2016, including 192 by Benny Snell and 182 by Stanley “Boom” Williams.
- Mark Stoops is looking to get a winning record against Missouri; he’s 2-2 all-time.
- Kentucky is back up to third nationally in run defense, allowing just 74 yards per game.
- The Cats rank 11th in the nation in turnover margin (+7).
- Kentucky allowed the fewest yards rushing vs. an FBS team since 1996 by holding EMU to 13 yards.
- Saturday will mark the 102nd anniversary of the first Kentucky homecoming game.
- Kentucky is looking for its first 5-1 start since 2014.
- Jordan Jones is still off the depth chart this week.
- Greg Hart and Tavin Richardson both scored their first touchdowns last week.
- Adrian Middleton and Kengera Daniel both recorded their first career sacks against EMU.
- Kendall Randolph recorded his first career interception.
- Garrett “Juice” Johnson’s catch streak is up to 16 consecutive games. He’s now fourth on the all-time school receiving yards list.
- Josh Allen is sixth in the nation in sacks (5.5).
- MacGinnis score watch: Austin MacGinnis is just seven points from Lones Seiber and the No. 1 scoring spot in UK history.
- Benny Snell ranks seventh in the SEC in rushing YPG (81.4).
- Return man Charles Walker is averaging 21.5 yards per punt return, which ranks among the nation’s elite return men.
- According to the NCAA rankings, Kentucky’s schedule is currently the 29th toughest in the country.
- This is Missouri’s first away game of the year.
- Missouri enters the week 1-3 on the season.
- Mizzou ranks ninth in the nation in yards per completion (15.93).
- Wide receiver J’Mon Moore has three plays of 50+ yards this year.
- Moore has caught a pass in 21 straight games.
- Damarea Crockett ranks 4th in the SEC with 93.8 rush yards per game, which ranks 33rd nationally.
- Crockett is one of just 10 active players to have run for 200+ yards in two games. He is averaging 6.36 yards per carry, which is 28th nationally and fourth in the SEC.
- Crockett became the first Mizzou running back ever to post back-to-back 200-yard performances after rushing for 202 vs. Missouri State in the opener and 225 in his final game of 2016 at Tennessee.
- Missouri is allowing a whopping 40 points per game
- Quarterback Drew Lock is sixth in Missouri history in passing yards (5,846).
- Lock has 1,115 yards passing this year. In Mizzou’s season-opener against Missouri State, Lock threw for 521 and seven touchdowns, both school records. The seven TDs tied the SEC record and he is just the sixth SEC QB to ever throw seven TDs in a single game.
- Defensive end Jordan Harold did not have a single Division I scholarship offer coming out of high school, but is now a team captain.
- Wide receiver Johnathon Johnson is coming off a career-best 10-catch game against Auburn. He had 85 receiving yards, a game-high.
- Missouri’s starting offensive line stands at an average of 6-5.5 and 326 lbs.
Player and Coach Connections
- Kentucky does not have a player from Missouri on its roster.
- Missouri does not have a player from the Commonwealth on its roster.
- Junior Kendall Blanton is the son of former Wildcat great Jerry Blanton. Jerry was a defensive lineman at Kentucky from 1974- 77 and was the first freshman to become a varsity starter at UK. He started all four seasons in his collegiate career and led the Wildcats to a SEC Championship title and Peach Bowl win in 1976.
- UK head coach Mark Stoops and Missouri offensive coordinator Josh Heupel spent the 2005 season together at Arizona. Heupel the tight ends coach, while Stoops was the defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach.
- UK defensive coordinator Matt House coached in the state of Missouri when he was with the NFL’s St. Louis Rams from 2009-11.
- UK offensive coordinator Eddie Gran spent a season at Southeast Missouri State in 1989, his third year of coaching.
- Defensive line coach Derrick LeBlanc spent two seasons at Missouri State (2006-07).