(25) Missouri at Kentucky
Time: 7:30 PM ET, Sept 26, 2015
Spread: KEN -3
Betting odds c/o Bovada
The Kentucky Wildcats are an improved football team to be sure, but can it knock off a No. 25 ranked AP team in Missouri? That remains to be seen, but oddsmakers at Bovada favor the home team, with the Wildcats set as 3-point favorites in the game which will air on the SEC network.
Last week Kentucky fell by five points to Florida, losing 14-9. The Wildcats had a good chance to strike late in the game but were stifled in the red zone and had to settle for a field goal. That decision, if it can be rendered such, cost the team its chance as it faltered badly on its last drive, falling to 4th and 27 before turning it over on an interception. The Cats had a good offensive game, but it was simply unable to penetrate the end zone, relying on three field goals for all its offensive output.
The Florida defense was good. It frustrated UK QB Patrick Towles into just 8 of 24 passing with two interceptions and no TDs. RB Stanley Williams had some success with 80 yards on 16 carries, but his fellow backfield mates combined for just 43 yards on 17 carries, while Towles rushed for negative-eight yards from the pocket on eight carries.
The inability to stimulate the ground game left the Wildcats offense somewhat easy to anticipate, and a well-rounded receiving effort was hardly enough with Towles getting little time to find his guys. Dorian Baker led the team with four receptions, but Jeff Badet led in yardage (45) due to one long pass play.
In Weeks 1 & 2, Kentucky knocked off ULL Ragin’ Cagins and South Carolina. The Gamecocks victory inflated hopes that the team could knock off Florida last week but it was not to be. This week should prove more challenging still, though the Cats are favored.
No. 25 overall Missouri is 3-0 with victories over SE Missouri State, Arkansas State and UConn, but Kentucky will represent its toughest test thus far in the young season. Last week in the victory over the UConn Huskies, Mizzou slipped by 9-6.
QB Maty Mauk threw 14 of 22 for 145 yards and Drew Lock came in to throw 6 of 9 for 40 yards, but neither option threw a TD and Mauk was intercepted.
Missouri did not get a lot from its backfield, either, with top option Ish Witter rushing 17 times for just 54 yards. Mauk scored the lone Mizzou TD via the rush, but he too had just 13 yards on nine carries.
The Mizzou receivers chipped in with four guys catching at least three passes or compiling more than 30 yards. Tyler Hunt had a 51-yard catch in the affair. Kicker Andrew Baggett missed his lone field goal.
Missouri: OVER 3-0-1 in Tigers last 4 games on grass; OVER 3-0-1 in last 4 vs teams with home records; UNDER 6-0 in Tigers’ last 6 games in September.
Kentucky: OVER 4-0 in Wildcats last 4 games after amassing more than 170 yards passing in previous game; OVER 6-0 in last 6 games after allowing less than 170 yards passing in previous game; OVER 5-0 in last 5 games after scoring less than 20 points in previous game.