The Mizzou Tigers (2-5 overall, 0-3 in Southeastern Conference play), hope to break a three-game losing streak this when they host the Kentucky Wildcats (4-3, 3-2) at Memorial Stadium/Faurot Field. Kickoff is set for 11 a.m. (CT).
Mizzou is looking for its first SEC win for first-year Head Coach Barry Odom, after starting 0-3 against Georgia, LSU and Florida.
Coming off a tough 51-45 home loss to Middle Tennessee, there was no doubt the offense gained some confidence moving the ball. Mizzou racked up 629 yards of total offense, but had two costly turnovers and multiple penalties.
The Tigers are facing a Kentucky running attack that is averaging close to 200 yards per game on the ground. With the loss of Terry Beckner Jr on the defensive line, look for the Wildcats to challenge Mizzou up the middle. In addition to Beckner’s injury, Odom will have to rely on less-experienced players to take over the weakside linebacker position vacated by Michael Scherer’s season ending injury.
After gaining less than 100 yards on the ground in two losses to open the season, Kentucky has averaged more than 200 rushing yards in its four wins. They do it with three backs…Boom Williams, Jojo Kemp and Benny Snell, Jr., along with quarterback Stephen Johnson III. The Wildcats will have to rely on their run game and can give their defense a breather if they can extend drives.
Perhaps Mizzou can take advantage of an early start time to catch Kentucky. Missouri leads the SEC with 505 yards of total offense per game, averaging 34.9 points. The Tigers are running an average of more than 80 plays per game.
Kentucky comes in a motivated team. The Wildcats are looking their first three-game Southeastern Conference winning streak since 1999 and first season of at least four wins in SEC play since 2006. UK can also pull within one game of bowl eligibility with a win.
Interesting note: Mizzou redshirt sophomore Kendall Blanton is the son of former Wildcat great Jerry Blanton. Jerry was a defensive lineman at Kentucky from 1974-77 and was the first freshman to become a varsity starter at UK. He started all four seasons in his collegiate career and led the Wildcats to a SEC Championship title and Peach Bowl win in 1976. He still ranks as the eighth all-time leading tackler with 389. He went on to play seven seasons in the NFL with the Kansas City Chiefs.