LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) – Brady Cook threw for one touchdown and ran for another and Missouri scored on a fake punt during a 20-point outburst in a 38-21 win over No. 24 Kentucky on Saturday night.
A week after allowing 14 points in the final three minutes of a 49-39 loss to No. 23 LSU, the Tigers (6-1, 2-1 Southeastern Conference) trailed the Wildcats (5-2, 2-2) 14-0 before seizing the momentum in the second quarter with trickery. Luke Bauer looked ready to punt before stepping back and lobbing a pass down the left sideline to Marquis Johnson for a 39-yard touchdown. Williams had a step on Kentucky’s Andru Williams and sprinted in for the easy score.
Cook sandwiched an 18-yard touchdown pass to Theo Wease Jr. between two Harrison Mevis field goals for a 20-14 lead at halftime, then answered a Kentucky touchdown with a 1-yard score to restore Missouri’s lead early in the fourth. Cody Schrader added a two-point conversion run to make 28-21, then ran for a 19-yard TD minutes later to seize control of a sometimes-chippy contest.
The Tigers’ defense also turned the tables with two interceptions among three takeaways and four sacks. Missouri outgained Kentucky 324-286.
Devin Leary threw TD passes to Ray Davis (20 carries, 128 yards) and Anthony Brown-Stephens and rushed for a 13-yard score to give Kentucky leads, but was otherwise harassed, getting sacked four times and throwing two interceptions. The Wildcats sought a rebound from last week’s 51-13 rout at top-ranked Georgia, but were thoroughly outplayed the final three quarters.
Kentucky will move out of the rankings after a second consecutive loss. Missouri was the first team out last week and could return after a one-week absence.
Missouri: The Tigers needed a quarter to regroup from being initially swamped, but were dominant after that in all phases in ending a two-game slide against Kentucky.
Kentucky: The Wildcats started well toward putting their horrid showing at Georgia behind them, but the wheels came off in all phases after the first quarter. They committed 14 penalties for 122 yards, couldn’t protect Leary and were really embarrassed by the game-changing fake punt.
Missouri hosts South Carolina on Saturday.
Kentucky hosts No. 19 Tennessee on Oct. 28.