Kentucky vs Missouri preview and prediction

Kentucky and Missouri look to be headed in two different directions when the teams meet Saturday: the Wildcats want to keep building momentum while Missouri is just looking to keep its season afloat.

An early look at Faurot Field's turf with the SEC logos on it before the 2012 season. Photo courtesy of creativecommons.org, no changes made.

This week in the SEC, 4-3 (3-2 SEC) Kentucky will take on struggling 2-5 (0-3 SEC) Missouri in an SEC East clash.

After a disappointing start to the season, Kentucky has won four of its last five games, including SEC wins against South Carolina, Vanderbilt and last weekend against Mississippi State. In its game against the Bulldogs, Kentucky was able to use a balanced offensive attack to put up more than 550 yards of offense on its way to a 40-38 victory.

Missouri, on the other hand, has yet to win an SEC matchup despite its explosive offense. Defense has been a problem for the Tigers all season, as shown in their most recent matchup against Middle Tennessee. Missouri was able to put up 45 points, yet couldn’t find any defense to speak of, giving up 311 rushing yards and six total touchdowns to the Blue Raiders. The Tigers had no sacks and only four tackles for loss on the day. The Tigers have to put that loss behind them if they want to save their season.

Quarterback play will be key for Missouri on Saturday. Sophomore quarterback Drew Lock has been the team’s brightest spot, and that shouldn’t change anytime soon. Lock is currently third in the SEC with 1,995 passing yards and second with 16 touchdown tosses. If the Tigers want to win on Saturday, he’ll have to continue to produce.

Kentucky, however, will need to stick its ground game. The duo of Stanley “Boom” Williams and Benjamin Snell Jr. have put up over 1,000 yards on the ground this season. The Wildcats’ passing attack is 13th in the SEC in yards, and now’s not the time to try anything new. Plus, running the ball keeps the pigskin out of Drew Lock’s hands longer.

Prediction

After building momentum this season, Kentucky will keep it rolling on Saturday and rush for more than 275 yards against a weak Missouri defense. Missouri, knowing it could turn its season around with a win, will play inspired football. Drew Lock will throw for at least four touchdowns. In the end, Kentucky’s rushing attack will wear down the Tigers, but it will still be a high-scoring game. The Wildcats should triumph 40-34 on the road to keep their season and bowl hopes alive.

Edited by Nathan Odom

Featured image by KOMUnews

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When Robert isn't writing stories for the greatest online news site of all time, he enjoys playing the tuba, hanging out with friends, and opening the "T" on Saturdays in Knoxville. You can follow him on Twitter-@tnytuba09