clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Kentucky wins thriller at Missouri: 5 things to know and postgame cheers

The Cats pull out a gritty win.

NCAA Football: Kentucky at Missouri William Purnell-USA TODAY Sports

The Kentucky Wildcats headed to Columbia to take on the Missouri Tigers this afternoon, and they left Columbia with a win over the Tigers, 21-17.

Kentucky looked dial in to start the first half, as they marched down the field to score on their first possession. Add in two missed field goals, and the offensive woes returning, and the Cats looked like they could be in some trouble as they headed into the half leading 7-3.

The second half wasn't much prettier. The defense stood their ground for 3.5 quarters, but the offense just couldn't get any momentum.

Luckily, the Tigers handed the Cats good field position twice in the second half, that allowed the Cats to put two touchdowns on the board and push ahead for the win.

Now, let's take a look at a few things to know from today's win over the Tigers.

Chris Rodriguez goes beast mode

The overall numbers won't show it due to the sacks of Will Levis, but Chris Rodriguez showed once again today why he is so important to this football team.

Now, credit to the Missouri defense on stuffing some run attempts, but it was obvious that the vision and power of C-Rod played a difference in this game.

And thank GOODNESS that wasn’t a fumble.

Kicking Struggles Continue

This has not been a good showing this season for the special teams, especially for the field goal unit. Those struggles continued today as Matt Ruffolo hooked a line-drive kick that wasn't even close and missed another.

And then there was the high punt that Colin Goodfellow saved, as he recovered the ball and drew a roughing the punter penalty that helped Kentucky ice the game away.

I think all of Big Blue Nation is in agreement...let's go for it from here on out.

Defense Impresses Once Again

Will Levis and the offense moved the ball fairly well, against a good Missouri defense, but it was the defense that kept the Cats in this one.

At all three levels this unit showed up today, and it was greatly needed. Especially with Deandre Square and Jacquez Jones out, it was impressive to see the younger guys step up and make plays for four quarters.

Looks like the future is bright for Brad White’s unit for years to come.

Offensive Woes are here to stay

Outside of C-Rod, the struggles continue today in Columbia.

When this happened a few weeks back, it seemed like things would turn around as the players got use to the new scheme under Rich Scangarello.

Unfortunately, they haven't.

Now the question becomes; what is the major issue?

Offensive line issues continue to plague this team. It appears Will Levis has done all he has can to take this next step, but the surrounding parts of this offense just can't seem to get on the same page.

They will need some big games from Scangarello and this offense, to put some good tape out there for players this offseason.

Pre-snap penalties

If Missouri’s offense wasn't so bad, the handful of false starts and offsides today could have really cost Kentucky. Time after time, pre-snap penalties ruined Kentucky drives, which isn’t surprising given how much this offense struggles even when it avoids the yellow flags.

Kentucky has a lot of issues, some of which can’t be fixed until the offseason. But pre-snap penalties are a big issue that can be corrected if Mark Stoops can get his guys to play more disciplined. Here’s to hoping we start to see this area improve when Vanderbilt comes to town.