It was a fantastic start for the Cats as the defense forced a 3-and-out followed by a 9-play 65-yard touchdown drive by the offense as Devin Leary hit Ray Davis for the 7-yard touchdown.
Kentucky’s defense quickly handed the ball back to the offense as Maxwell Hairston got his 5th interception of the season.
Once again, the offense marched right down the field, and the drive was capped off with Leary running in from 13 yards out to make it 14-0.
Unfortunately, Missouri was able to find the end zone on a 40-yard touchdown pass on a fake punt to make it 14-7.
On third down, Leary made a perfect throw, but the same story that we have seen all season was told once again as the pass was dropped, and all momentum shifted in Missouri’s favor.
The end of the first half could not have gone worse for Kentucky as the offense continued to sputter, and Missouri continued to add to the scoreboard.
A field goal and another miserable end of the half defensive performance allowed Missouri to finish the half with 17 unanswered points, and the Tigers took a 17-14 lead into the break.
The second half got off to a disastrous start as Barion Brown fumbled, setting Missouri up in excellent field position.
Thankfully the defense was able to hold them to a field goal, making it a 20-14 ballgame.
Later in the third, Missouri missed a field goal, and the Cats were able to take advantage, and 7-plays later, Leary hit Anthony Brown-Stephens for a 4-yard touchdown to take a 21-20 lead.
Unfortunately, the defense was not able to step up and allowed Missouri to drive down the field and retake the lead 28-21.
After another miserable offensive drive and miserable punt, Missouri took complete control of this game and made it a 35-21 ballgame.
A very undisciplined performance from Kentucky in this one as Missouri got the 38-21 win in Lexington.
This season may end up producing the record for a player being named MVP, as once again, the clear answer is Ray Davis. Unfortunately, it once again feels like he wasn’t used enough in this one.
What little successful offense we have seen from this team, it is always Davis who is making it happen, and he made it happen again on Saturday.
Davis came out of the gate strong as he rushed for 96 yards and hauled in a 7-yard touchdown reception all in the first half to make it 7 consecutive games with a touchdown.
He went on to finish the game with 19 carries for 127 yards and the one receiving touchdown. The problem was after the first quarter, it took too long to get him involved again.
As the Wildcats run out of the tunnel, Barion Brown runs to the Missouri sideline and looks down the Tigers.— Tristan Pharis (@TristanUda) October 14, 2023
Players look ready! #BBN
What a perfectly called drive by Liam Coen— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) October 14, 2023
Great execution by Leary and runs by Davis
Unlike last week the early penalty doesn't keep Kentucky out of the end zone. Fantastic start for both defense (3 & out) and offense (9 plays, 65 yards, TD in 4:46).— Justin Rowland (@RowlandRIVALS) October 14, 2023
ANOTHER INTERCEPTION FOR MAXWELL HAIRSTON!!!!— BBN Tonight (@BBNTonight) October 14, 2023
This has been Kentucky’s best start of the season. Two excellent drives and hammering home a quick 14-0 lead. Showtime running by Ray Davis, some great looks at passing from Devin Leary.— Tres Terrell (@TerrellTres) October 15, 2023
Let’s have a night, shall we?
Good gracious. Stoops gambling with the squib kick hoping to catch Missouri off guard. Didn't work but I like that side of Stoops— Vaughts' Views (@vaughtsviews) October 15, 2023
Big TD on a fake punt followed by a big drop on third down and all of a sudden the momentum has shifted Missouri's way.— TheCatsPause247 (@TheCatsPause247) October 15, 2023
Great throw by Leary but the drops continue also we’re not punting the greatest ♂️— Cody Couch (@Couch_29) October 15, 2023
Receivers refuse to help Devin Leary out. Unit has been a massive disappointment from top to bottom this season.— Jack Pilgrim (@JackPilgrimKSR) October 15, 2023
Here we go shooting our own self in the foot again— Lori Mills (@lori_mills) October 15, 2023
Deone is getting held 8/10 times. Never gets the holding call either— Tyler Spriggs (@t_spreezy00) October 15, 2023
Missouri stole the momentum with the crazy fake punt.— Nick Roush (@RoushKSR) October 15, 2023
Kentucky stopped the bleeding by forcing a field goal. Cats can recapture that first quarter juice in the Middle 8.
Feels like we've said it a lot this season, but 1st quarter > 2nd quarter.— Tyler Thompson (@MrsTylerKSR) October 15, 2023
Hate how the momentum flipped in the second stanza. Gotta take it back to start the second half.
Missouri scored 17 unanswered points over the final 11 minutes of the half, starting with the fake punt and ending with a quick-strike TD drive in the final minute.— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_ATH) October 15, 2023
Tigers lead 17-14 at the half. A perfect first quarter, disaster second quarter for UK.
Kentucky was up 14-0 in the first quarter, with the ball and a chance to go up 21-0. It seemed like they could do no wrong.— Tristan Pharis (@TristanUda) October 15, 2023
Then things fell apart.
In the second quarter, Kentucky had just 17 yards of offense, while giving up 171 yards...
Hearing the boos and rightfully so. Kentucky peed down their leg for an entire quarter. I still cannot get over the stall hall BS. I’m as heated about that as I have been with anything this season.— Round Daddy (@JStreble82) October 15, 2023
Still a half to go but if they lose these coaches need to be ripped.
The missed PI and vanilla Stoops are to be blamed— T.J. Walker (@TJWalkerRadio) October 15, 2023
Kentucky has allowed 34 points in the final 3 minutes of the 2nd quarter of their last 4 games— Corey Price (@coreyp08) October 15, 2023
Felt like the first drive of the second half was going to make or break the 2023 Kentucky football season.— Nick Roush (@RoushKSR) October 15, 2023
The first play is a Barion Brown fumble.
20 unanswered is unacceptable— The Kentucky Logo (@TheKentuckyLogo) October 15, 2023
Kentucky's Tre'vonn Rybka with the blocked field goal.— Shawn Smith (@gbbcountry) October 15, 2023
Leary gonna get bailed out— BEEZY (@Burke_Franklin_) October 15, 2023
But that was sooooo bad. Cannot make anymore throws like that one. My God
DINGLE !!!!— Cody Couch (@Couch_29) October 15, 2023
Anthony Brown-Stephens catches a pass in the backfield and runs 4 yards into the end zone for his first TD. He needed that after two big drops.— Jon Hale (@JonHale_HL) October 15, 2023
Kentucky 21, Missouri 20 (3:39, 3Q).
Seems like a lot of Coen's favorite red zone play calls are getting the defense moving one direction and going back the other way.— Justin Rowland (@RowlandRIVALS) October 15, 2023
WEAK Pass Interference call right there— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) October 15, 2023
That's a HORRIBLE call— Van Hiles (@vstyles17) October 15, 2023
Mizzou can’t hold supposedly— T.J. Walker (@TJWalkerRadio) October 15, 2023
Brad White getting abused rn— The Kentucky Logo (@TheKentuckyLogo) October 15, 2023
Undisciplined team— BEEZY (@Burke_Franklin_) October 15, 2023
Absolutely too many bone headed plays to name this season and we’re only halfway through
Emotional. Undisciplined. Rewind, repeat.— Jack Pilgrim (@JackPilgrimKSR) October 15, 2023
Seen a lot of Kentucky Football in my life. Never seen a team look so good in the first quarter and then just completely fall apart. Over and over again.— Tyler Thompson (@MrsTylerKSR) October 15, 2023
This is all mental.
“It’s SEC football, Missouri was always going to respond. It’s a rivalry, two tough teams going at it. We knew this was going to be a battle from start to finish. Give the other side credit. Gotta get back to work, use the bye week to get healthy and get better. No excuses.”— Jack Pilgrim (@JackPilgrimKSR) October 15, 2023
Ray Davis had 8 touches in the 1st quarter. He's had 9 since then. No coincidence that the score has flipped 28 points.— Jeff Drummond (@JDrumUK) October 15, 2023
Quick everyone donate more money the next 11 minutes— T.J. Walker (@TJWalkerRadio) October 15, 2023
Stoops talked that junk about NIL. Thought he was cute going at a fan. And this is how his team performs. It’ll be interesting the mental gymnastics some will through to try and write this off.— Round Daddy (@JStreble82) October 15, 2023
The "Wildcat" is back for Kentucky. Direct snap to Ray Davis there.— Jon Hale (@JonHale_HL) October 15, 2023
You can’t script the amount of big plays by penalties. #BBN— Vinny Hardy (@VinnyHardy) October 15, 2023
“Stoops what could’ve been done tonight to change the outcome of the game?”— Cody Couch (@Couch_29) October 15, 2023
I think this can be the part of the season where it’s fair to start making your assumptions of how it’ll play out. Unfortunately, through 7, things don’t look promising.— Tres Terrell (@TerrellTres) October 15, 2023
Up next after the bye week is Tennessee, at Mississippi State, and Alabama in a brutal three-game stretch.
Pony up coach!— Matt (@matthewa_18) October 15, 2023
I’d spend less time bitching about NIL and more time not giving up a penalty every other play— T.J. Walker (@TJWalkerRadio) October 15, 2023
This team just unraveled. Not sure we've ever seen it just fall to pieces like this in a single game under Mark Stoops. What an embarrassing performance.— Adam Luckett (@AdamLuckettKSR) October 15, 2023
Devin Leary with his second interception of the game. Barion Brown with a personal foul at the end of the play.— Jon Hale (@JonHale_HL) October 15, 2023
Kentucky facing a crisis point in its season heading into its off week.
Interception and a Personal Foul to end it— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) October 15, 2023
Postgame Show probably around Midnight
Outside of the first quarter tonight Kentucky has been out scored 89-20 the last two games. One all systems failure has become two all systems failures. #BBN— Vinny Hardy (@VinnyHardy) October 15, 2023
And Missouri is doing this with almost nothing tonight from best receiver who only had two catches before he was hurt— Vaughts' Views (@vaughtsviews) October 15, 2023
Telling your fans to pony up more money and then coming out and performing like this at home in Primetime is crazy.— (@TheA1God) October 15, 2023
The last two weeks have been reminiscent of pre-2018 Stoops era UK football. Mentally just not strong enough.— Justin Rowland (@RowlandRIVALS) October 15, 2023
Kentucky is 5-8 outright and 3-10 against the spread coming out of the bye week under Mark Stoops. 44-6 loss in Knoxville last season.— Jack Pilgrim (@JackPilgrimKSR) October 15, 2023
Tennessee comes to Kroger Field on Oct. 28.