The Tigers got on the board first after a long drive that ate up a lot of clock and ended with one-yard Larry Rountree rushing score. Kentucky responded with a 50-yard field goal by Matt Ruffolo, but Mizzou came back with a field goal of their own to make the score 10-3 at the half.
After the break, the offense couldn’t get anything going and Mizzou took a 17-3 lead near the end of the third quarter on another Rountree rushing touchdown.
However, once Kentucky started pounding the ball in the ground game, the Cats started moving the ball in the fourth quarter. They got deep into Mizzou territory and Terry Wilson threw a dime to Josh Ali to cut the lead to 17-10.
However, after UK forced a three-and-out on the next drive, they also went three-and-out after they pulled Chris Rodriguez Jr. and brought AJ Rose back in. Mizzou then drove right down the field for a field goal to take a 20-10 lead with three minutes left and effectively end the game.
Next up, the Cats will return to Lexington to take on the Georgia Bulldogs.
John Schlarman did not travel with the team
The most unfortunate news today was that offensive line coach John Schlarman did not travel with the team to Columbia.
There was no news release on why Schlarman didn’t make the trip, but we all should hope and pray that everything’s okay. Everyone knows he’s dealt with cancer since last year, so hopefully we get a positive update soon.
Some things are bigger than football. Keep Coach Schlarman and his family in your prayers.
Kavosiey Smoke was available
Smoke has missed the last two and a half games with a rib contusion and there was no word on when he’d return to the team. Supposedly, he was available today, but he did not see any action.
The Cats have missed his explosiveness on offense as said offense was nonexistent today. Smoke was averaging a robust 7.6 YPC, albeit in a small sample size, before he was injured. It’s safe to say Kentucky has missed his production.
The offense was dead in the water
Well, that was one of the poorest offensive showings I’ve seen in quite some time. Kentucky tried Terry Wilson, they tried Joey Gatewood, and it just didn’t matter. They couldn’t get anything going.
First off, it should be clear that Chris Rodriguez is the best running back on this team and should get 25 carries per game. Anything else is coaching malpractice. AJ Rose should not be starting anymore. He’s good at certain things, but Rodriguez should be the feature back at this point.
Second, it doesn’t matter who’s playing quarterback because both players are runners who are limited at throwing the ball. But it’s not only that, there are no receivers on this team that can consistently gain separation from their defender. It’s not just on the quarterbacks, it’s on the receivers, too.
Third, the play-calling has just been abysmal. Kentucky came out and threw the ball three times on the opening possession, which led to a three-and-out.
Look, Mizzou’s run defense has been solid this season, but they haven’t had teams try to run the ball on them because their pass defense had been so bad. Run the ball until they stop you.
When the Cats finally did start pounding the ground game to start the fourth quarter, they scored their first touchdown, but it was too little too late and too much AJ Rose.
There was a huge disparity in time of possession
Time of possession was the name of the game in this one. The Cats pride themselves on winning games by controlling the ball and dominating on defense.
Well, the Tigers took that page out of UK’s book today as they dominated the time of possession. They didn’t score a ton, but they controlled the clock and won the game with long drives that ate up all the time by a 43:10 - 16:50 margin.
Kentucky just couldn’t get the stops when they needed to.
It doesn’t get any easier next week as UGA comes to town. Something has to change on the offensive side or this team has no chance of even finishing the season .500.
It was a disappointing game to say the least, but now it’s on to the next one and let’s hope for a big bounce-back.