LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) – Austin MacGinnis kicked four field goals, including two in the fourth quarter, and Stephen Johnson and Benny Snell each had two touchdowns as Kentucky outlasted Missouri 40-34 in a back-and-forth marathon Saturday night.
Kentucky (5-1, 2-1 Southeastern Conference) led by double digits three times but allowed Missouri to eventually tie the game at 27 late in the third quarter and 34 early in the fourth. MacGinnis’ 53-yard field goal with 9:40 remaining provided a three-point edge before Lonnie Johnson blocked Tucker McCann’s 45-yard field goal attempt with 6:15 left, setting up MacGinnis’ 20-yard kick with 1:48 left that gave the Wildcats a cushion in a game that lasted nearly four hours.
Before that Johnson threw touchdown passes of 14 and 64 yards while Snell ran for scores of 71 and 6 yards. Those scores merely provided breathing room as Tigers quarterback Drew Lock threw TD passes of 50, 58 and 75 yards, the last of which tied the game. Lock’s 48-yard completion set up his 1-yard TD run.
Missouri (1-4, 0-3) outgained Kentucky 568-486 but lost its fourth in a row.
Kentucky reserve quarterback Luke Wright was taken away on a stretcher with a medical emergency in the fourth quarter, but there was no immediate word on what caused it.
Missouri: Entering the game ranked ninth nationally with six plays over 50 yards, the Tigers used big plays to stay close and eventually tie. Lock connected with J’Mon Moore for a 50-yard touchdown, Emanuel Hall for a 58-yard score and Johnathon Johnson for 75 yards that tied the game. Lock finished 22 of 42 for 355 yards. Turnovers did in the Tigers, as two fumbles led to Kentucky touchdowns.
Kentucky: Eager to rebound from a subpar offensive effort against Eastern Michigan, the Wildcats scored on four straight first-half drives and built three double-digit leads. Good thing, since they also allowed the Tigers to claw back. Johnson’s 22-of-36 passing for 298 yards was huge, as was Snell’s 71-yard TD run. MacGinnis finished with 16 points to surpass Lones Seiber as the program’s career scoring leader.
Missouri visits No. 5 Georgia next week.
Kentucky has a bye before traveling to Mississippi State on Oct. 21. The Wildcats won last year’s meeting 40-38 on a last-second field goal that turned their season around.