When things got slippery in Lexington, Missouri did too.
With a chance to rebound following an ugly loss to Vanderbilt, another road game in inclement weather proved too much for the Tigers, losing to the Kentucky Wildcats 29 - 7.
For the first 15 minutes, the Tigers were able to hold the Wildcats scoreless but when the second quarter came, the gaps in the Tiger defense began to show. Wide receiver turned quarterback Lynn Bowden Jr. proved a threat the Missouri defense struggled to contain. Bowden was Kentucky’s leading rusher at the half, cutting the Tiger defense open for 106 yards.
Kelly Bryant and his offense struggled to find any success on their side of the ball. A haze of dropped check down passes felt like all the offense was capable of. Four punts, a missed field goal and a fumble were Missouri’s drive results for the half. It was ugly to say the least.
So with an unmovable offense the electric Wildcat quarterback made the first half seem like a bad dream. Then with the defense keeping things within striking distance, a late turnover and another Kentucky touchdown all within the last minute of the half set everything back even further.
Halftime score: Kentucky-22 Missouri-0
Right out of the half, things changed, albeit briefly. The Tigers held Kentucky to a quick three and out. The following drive, Tyler Badie would turn a third and 12 into an explosive 74 yard touchdown. A screen pass would open up a perfect lane for the running back where he would stay just feet ahead of the pursuing defenders but ultimately take it the house.
With its first breath of life Missouri, would bring the game to Kentucky- 22 Missouri- 7
Maybe the missing piece to the Missouri first half defense was an absent Tyree Gillespie. His name was heard all over the field, forcing fumbles, breaking up passes and creating tackles for loss. But the impact he made came too late.
The third quarter saw quarterback Kelly Bryant get taken out. Bryant had an apparent hamstring issue earlier in the game and although he returned to action, was visibly not at full capacity, and the Kentucky defense recognized it. They stopped spying Bryant, forcing the Tigers to make a change at Quarterback. Taylor Powell would take over, although the Tigers would put drives together, they could never manage to get points on the board.
The fourth quarter felt like an absence of hope for Missouri fans. The slippery field conditions plagued the Tigers all game long so when Larry Rountree fumbled at midfield, it was almost expected. As the time ticked away, the Tigers remained stagnant and any hope at coming back dissipated.
Redemption wasn’t found in Kentucky. Missouri falls to 5-3 (2-2) and winless on the road.