Rapid Reaction: Kentucky comes back to beat Mizzou, outlast Tiger rally
After 3 quarters of a mostly defensive battle, some offense broke out for a bit late in Columbia. Mizzou rallied in the 4th quarter to take its first lead, but Kentucky managed to get a late touchdown and hold off Mizzou’s final drives to leave with a 21-17 win.
Will Levis, battling multiple injuries, had 3 touchdown passes. His third TD, a 22-yarder to Dane Key, put the Wildcats back in front 21-17 with the extra point.
Kentucky retakes the lead!! Will Levis hits Dane Key, Key gets away from two defenders and gets in for the 22 yard TD! pic.twitter.com/gSgVquByPZ
— ?????? @???????? (@FTBeard7) November 5, 2022
Levis finished 12-of-18 passing for 160 yards and 3 touchdowns with no interceptions. The UK ground game was basically a 1-man show of Chris Rodriguez, who rushed 29 times for 112 yards. Key, a freshman, led Wildcats receivers with 4 catches for 53 yards and 2 TDs.
Kentucky nearly had an all-time collapse. With 2:34 left, the 4th-down snap sailed over UK punter Colin Goodfellow’s head. After recovering near the end zone, Goodfellow got off a punt as he was tackled. Goodfellow, though many yards away from his line, was still consider a punter and the play was called for roughing, resulting in a Wildcat first down.
Unreal. Snap over the #Kentucky punter’s head, Goodfellow picks it up and punts it and draws a “roughing the punter” call from his own goal line with a 4-point lead. Awful break for #Mizzou. UK can probably just run out the clock from here. #SEC #CFB pic.twitter.com/7vZYH2qyQc
— SportSource Analytics (@SportSourceA) November 5, 2022
The Cats were able to hold onto the ball until the 46 mark. Mizzou had 38 seconds for a final drive, but was unable to score, having a completion brought back on holding.
Mizzou’s offense had a miserable first half, managing only a field goal. In the 4th quarter, QB Brady Cook scored the first touchdown.
It turned out to be the first of 2 Tiger TDs. Eli Drinkwitz’s squad took a 17-14 lead with 8:07 to go.
Cook and the Mizzou passing attack improved in the second half. In the first 2 quarters, Cook was 7-of-9, but for just 19 passing yards. Cook finished 18-of-26 for 143 yards, no touchdowns or interceptions. Star freshman Luther Burden led Tiger pass-catchers with 6 receptions for 60 yards.
Mizzou’s 2 TDs came on the ground via Cook. A 20-yard run, Cook’s longest of the game, gave the Tigers the 4th-quarter lead.
Cody Schrader has 21 carries for Mizzou, but managed just 65 rushing yards. As a team, the Tigers finished with just 2.6 yards per carry (34 carries, 89 yards).
In the first quarter, Kentucky’s defense forced a 3-and-out on Mizzou’s opening possession. Levis then engineered an 8-play, 71-yard drive that ended in Key’s first TD catch of the game.
Kentucky’s second TD was set up by great field position gifted by Mizzou. The Tigers’ opening drive of the 3rd quarter ended in disaster. Punter Jack Stonehouse bobbled the snap on 4th down. Instead of rolling out to buy time to punt, Stonehouse decided to run for the 4th-and-4. He only gained 3 yards, giving Kentucky the ball on the Mizzou 34-yard line.
The Wildcats went on an 8-play scoring drive, capped by Levis to freshman Jordan Dingle.