Cats offense lays an egg in loss to Missouri, 20-10

Missouri's defense held Kentucky in check all day as the Tigers broke a five-game losing streak to the Cats by winning 20-10 on Saturday at Faurot Field.

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COLUMBIA, Mo. (UK Athletics) – Missouri’s defense held Kentucky in check all day as the Tigers broke a five-game losing streak to the Cats by winning 20-10 on Saturday at Faurot Field.

Kentucky (2-3, 2-3 SEC) amassed only 145 yards of offense in the game. The Cats had 98 yards on the ground and 47 through the air. Meanwhile, Missouri had 421 yards of offense, with 220 coming on the ground and 201 through the air.

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Missouri (2-2, 2-2) had the ball for 43:10 in the game, including several long drives. The Tigers ran 92 plays in the game, compared to just 36 for Kentucky.

Yusuf Corker had a career-high 18 tackles in the game, including 16 solo stops. Corker had a sack and two tackles for loss in the contest. Jamin Davis added 10 tackles for Kentucky, his second straight game with double-digit tackle numbers.

The first quarter featured five punts, three by Kentucky and two by Missouri, but no points. Neither offense was able to get much going, with Kentucky amassing only 23 yards of offense, while Missouri had just 80 yards of its own.

Early in the second quarter, Missouri mounted the first significant drive of the game. The Tigers drove into the UK red zone and scored on a one-yard run by Larry Rountree, capping off a 13-play, 66-yard scoring drive. Harrison Mevis added the extra point and Missouri led 7-0 with 10:57 left in the first half.

Kentucky went to Joey Gatewood at quarterback on its next series, and that seemed to spark the offense. For the first time in the game, UK drove into MU territory, but the drive stalled and the Cats settled for a career-long-tying, 50-yard field goal from Matt Ruffolo, cutting the deficit to 7-3 with 8:24 to play in the half.

Late in the half, Missouri drove to the UK one yard line inside the final minute, but the Tigers were forced to settle for a 19-yard field goal from Mevis to make it 10-3 at the half.

On the first drive of the second half, Missouri ate up nearly 10 minutes of clock on a 21-play drive. However, the Kentucky defense stood tall and, on fourth and one from the UK seven, Corker stopped MU quarterback Connor Bazelak for a two-yard loss and the Cats took over at their own nine.

The Cats were unable to do anything with the possession and punted the ball back to Missouri with 3:56 left in the third quarter. On the ensuing drive, Missouri again drove deep into UK territory and scored on a Rountree one-yard rush. Mevis added the PAT and the Tigers led 17-3 with 45 seconds left in the third quarter. That would be the score after three periods.

Early in the fourth quarter, the Cats assembled their best drive of the game to that point. And Kentucky would convert when Terry Wilson hit Josh Ali in the right corner of the end zone for a 26-yard touchdown. Ruffolo added the PAT and the Cats were within 17-10 with 13:14 left in the game.

Later in the fourth, Missouri put the game out of reach with another long drive. The Tigers used 15 plays to cover 61 yards, ending with a 20-yard field goal from Mevis, making it 20-10.

Kentucky returns to action on Halloween, hosting Georgia at Kroger Field. Kickoff is set for noon ET and the game can be seen on the SEC Network.

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Austin Miller joins ABC 36 Sports Team as a Sports Reporter and Weekend Anchor. Austin is from the Louisville area and graduated from St. Xavier High School in 2008. Austin graduated from Indiana University with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and a second concentration in German. While at IU, Austin was a blogger at Kentsterling.com and co-host, producer and engineer for WIUX, the school’s student radio station. Before coming to ABC 36, Austin was a news videographer at WLFI in West Lafayette from 2012-2015. While working with WLFI, Austin had the chance to cover the Purdue Boilermakers. He then accepted a Sports/New Reporter position at Local 4 KSNB-TV in Hastings Nebraska and was eventually promoted to sports full-time as the Weekend Sports Anchor/Reporter. While at KSNB-TV, Austin covered the University of Nebraska, the University of Nebraska-Kearney and Hastings College. After spending nearly six years away from home, Austin is excited to return to the Bluegrass State to cover the teams he grew up watching. In his spare time, Austin enjoys playing basketball, working out and cooking. If you have any story ideas or would like to say “Hello,” you can reach Austin by email at amiller@wtvq.com or direct message him on Twitter @AustinMillerTV.