Cats win another close one to improve to 5-1


Kentucky running back Benny Snell Jr. scores a touchdown during the game against Missouri Saturday, October 7, 2017 in Lexington, Ky. Kentucky won the game 40-34.

On Saturday evening, the UK football team earned their third consecutive victory over Missouri, defeating the Tigers 40-34.

The win gives UK a 5-1 record, their best start since 2014. It also keeps them in contention in the SEC East race with their 2-1 conference record. 

The first half had some record breaking moments, most notably from Austin MacGinnis, who became UK’s all-time leading scorer after a Benny Snell 71-yard touchdown.

MacGinnis’ extra point after Snell’s touchdown pushed him past Lones Seiber for the No. 1 spot on UK’s all-time scoring leaders list. Snell’s touchdown was also the longest play of his career, with the previous being a 48-yard rush against Austin Peay last season.

However, Missouri was able to generate big plays of their own, as they scored two touchdowns on plays that were 50 yards or longer. A 58-yard touchdown pass to Emanuel Hall with 40 seconds left in the half shrunk UK’s lead to 20-14 heading into the half.

Missouri stayed hot coming out of the half, scoring 13 points on their four offensive drives in the third quarter. The Tigers would tie the game for the first time on a 25-yard field goal from Tucker McCann late in the third quarter.

The fourth quarter opened up with a pair of big plays from both teams, first from UK when Stephen Johnson connected with Garrett Johnson for a 64-yard touchdown. The reception was the longest passing play from the Cats this season.

Just three plays later, Missouri would tie it again off another long touchdown, this time a 75-yard touchdown pass to Johnathon Johnson.

The Cats would eventually pull away from Missouri off two more field goals from MacGinnis. MacGinnis’ 20-yard field goal with 1:48 remaining in the game gave UK the six-point lead they finished with.

Missouri would get all the way to UK’s 28-yard line, but ran out of clock before they could get in the end zone. Missouri went into the drive with no timeouts, and that ended up costing them, as they weren’t able to get out of bounds on many of their completions.

UK wound up winning an offensive battle, as both teams had over 450 yards of offense. Missouri finished with 568 yards compared to UK’s 486, which is the most yards UK gained all season. Missouri’s 586 yards is also the most yards UK’s defense has given up this season. 

Snell accounted for 117 of UK’s yards, which he got on 20 carries. Snell also had two touchdowns in the game, his second time he’s had two touchdowns in a game this season.

Up next for the Cats is their bye week before traveling to Mississippi State on Oct. 21. Kickoff time and broadcast details have yet to be announced.