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Show me! No. 12 Kentucky scores on last play of the game to stun Missouri


By Keith Taylor
Kentucky Today

No. 12 Kentucky pulled off an improbable victory with a 15-14 triumph at Missouri Saturday to set up a showdown with No. 7 Georgia for the SEC East championship.

The Wildcats (7-1, 5-1) host Georgia Saturday with the winner going to Atlanta for the SEC championship against the SEC West winner, either top-ranked Alabama or fifth-ranked LSU who also played Saturday. The Bulldogs rolled to a 36-17 win over No. 9 Florida on Saturday.

Kentucky trailed 14-3 late in the fourth quarter and five minutes is all it took for the Wildcats to mount a successful comeback. Lynn Bowden’s 67-yard kickoff return for a touchdown provided a spark for a Kentucky offense that sputtered until the final decisive drive.

Kentucky tight end C.J. Conrad celebrates in the locker room following the Wildcats’ 15-14 win over Missouri Saturday in Columbia. (UK Athletics Photo)

Quarterback Terry Wilson watched as two backups — Danny Clark and Gunnar Hoak — failed to ignite Kentucky’s offense during the first three quarters. The sophomore then provided the heroics on the final drive. Wilson marched the Wildcats downfield with a scoring drive that spanned eight plays and 81 yards and took just 1:24 to complete.

The Wildcats got a break when the Tigers (4-4 and 0-4) were flagged for a pass interference call with no time remaining, giving Kentucky one last chance at the 2-yard line. Wilson connected with senior tight end C.J. Conrad in the corner of the end zone to give Kentucky its fourth consecutive win over Missouri.

Wilson, who had come under fire for his recent performances, completed 22 of 31 passes for 267 yards and a touchdown. His lone interception came on the next-to-last drive, but he came back to rally the Wildcats when it mattered the most. Bowden, Wilson’s favorite target, hauled in 13 passes for 166 yards and was instrumental down the stretch, making a couple of spectacular catches to keep the game-winning drive alive.

Missouri did all of its scoring in the second quarter, but was scoreless in the second half. Kentucky forced eight three-and-outs as the Tigers failed to muster a first-down in the second half against the Wildcats’ defense, anchored by Josh Allen, who had 11 tackles and two sacks, including one in the fourth quarter. Missouri was 0-for-8 on third-down conversions in the final two quarters.

Jordan Jones added 19 tackles for Kentucky, which limited Missouri to just 249 total yards, more than half than average for the season.

Kentucky running back Benny Snell finished with 67 yards in 19 carries.

Missouri quarterback Drew Lock was 15-27 and threw for 167 yards.

WEST KNOWS BEST

Kentucky’s Darius West blocked a 31-yard field goal attempt by Missouri kicker Tucker McCann in the first quarter. The block by West was recovered by Derrick Beatty.

West was later flagged for an unsportsmanlike penalty in the first quarter.

West finished with eight tackles and had a pass break-up in the second half.

Gametracker: Georgia at Kentucky, 3:30 p.m. Saturday. TV/Radio: CBS or ESPN, UK Radio Network.

Keith Taylor is sports editor for Kentucky Today. Reach him at keith.taylor@kentuckytoday.com or twitter @keithtaylor21.


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