Mark Stoops and his No. 24 Kentucky Wildcats are coming off one of the biggest blowout losses they’ve endured in recent years. Fortunately for the Cats, they have an opportunity to rebound against Missouri this Saturday at Kroger Field.
This, however, will not be an easy task for the Cats as both teams enter the game 5-1. While Kentucky is 2-1 in SEC play, Missouri is 1-1 in the league after losing a high-scoring shootout at home to LSU last week.
Here are a few Tigers that Kentucky will need to keep in check in order to win its third straight against Eli Drinkwitz and Missouri.
WR Luther Burden III
Simply put, Burden is one of, if not the best wide receivers not just in the SEC, but also in the country. A five-star recruit for the class of 2022 from St. Louis, leads the FBS in receptions (54), receiving yards (793), and receiving yards a game (132.2).
In a losing effort last week against LSU, Burden caught 11 passes for 149 yards.
Kentucky fans will remember Burden’s performance last season against the Cats, where he caught six passes for 60 yards as a freshman.
QB Brady Cook
Cook has been lights out this season, as he currently ranks sixth nationally in total passing yards with 1,863. He also ranked 10th in passing yards per game, averaging 310.5 and passing efficiency with 175.7. He’s completed 64% of his attempts in all six games thus far into 2023, with 13 touchdowns with just two interceptions.
In Kentucky’s 21-17-win last season at Missouri, Cook completed 18/26 passes for 143 yards and found the end zone twice by running in for two touchdowns.
DL Johnny Walker
Walker has been a force for the Missouri defense thus far this season. A 6-3, 244-pound junior from Florida leads the team with 5.5 tackles for loss with three sacks and a forced fumble.
After being ejected last week against LSU, that means that the Tigers will be without arguably the best defensive player available on its roster. It will be up to Liam Coen and his struggling offense to take advantage of Walker’s absence in the first half of Saturday’s game if the Cats wish to move to 6-1 on the season and put the ugly loss in Athens behind them.