Missouri vs. Kentucky Prediction, Game Preview

    Missouri vs. Kentucky prediction and game preview. The Tigers look to stay perfect as they travel to Lexington to take on the 2-1 Wildcats in this SEC East matchup.

    September 21, 2015

    Missouri (3-0) hasn’t had any problems against Kentucky (2-1) since joining the SEC, winning three straight – all by double digits. It hasn’t been an easy run so far for the Tigers, but they’re still unbeaten as they dive into SEC play. The Wildcats are coming off a rough loss to Florida, and effectively need this win to stay alive in the East. Check out the Missouri vs. Kentucky prediction and preview.

    Missouri vs. Kentucky Game Preview

    Broadcast

    Date: Saturday, September 26
    Game Time: 7:30
    Venue: Commonwealth Stadium, Lexington, Kentucky
    Network: SEC Network

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    Why You Need To Care

    About as unimpressive a 3-0 as it gets, Missouri couldn’t do anything offensively against Connecticut and struggled on the road against Arkansas State. The ground game isn’t working, the points aren’t coming, and it’s been a grind – but 3-0 is 3-0. With winnable games against South Carolina and Florida up next at home, the Tigers just need to survive and advance.

    Just when it seemed like Kentucky was going to make some noise, it sputtered and coughed in a 14-9 loss to Florida. The offense hasn’t worked, but with a win over South Carolina two weeks ago, the Wildcats are still in the SEC East chase. With a rough road stretch of three away games in four weeks coming up later, they have to take advantage of every home game they get.

    Why Missouri Will Win

    The UK passing game has been inconsistent at best, inept at worst. It was stunningly good against South Carolina, with Patrick Towles completing 21-of-29 passes for 192 yards, but as it turns out, the Gamecocks get picked apart by everyone. Towles hit just 47% of his throws in the opener against Louisiana-Lafayette in the 40-33 win in the opener, and he sputtered against the Gators last week hitting just 33% of his passes with two picks. Mizzou might be having issues, but no on D, ranking third in the nation in pass defense.

    Why Kentucky Will Win

    There once was a time when Missouri could run the ball. It isn’t now. The Tigers got their first rushing score last week against UConn, but couldn’t move at all throughout the game, averaging just 2.5 yards per carry. The O line isn’t generating a push, and it’s not going to get physical against a revamped Kentucky line. Power works against the Wildcat defensive front – Mizzou can’t do that.

    Player Who Matters

    It’s still Missouri’s offense for Maty Mauk to run, but Drew Lock is pushing for more and more time. Drew Lock is a 6-4, 205-pound star-in-waiting with a next-level arm getting more and more work with Mauk struggling, completing 6-of-9 passes for 40 yards. Mauk hasn’t been miserable, but he’s just not moving the offense well enough. Last year against UK he threw two touchdown passes and rocked the Cats for five scores in the 2013 blowout.

    What’s Going To Happen?

    Are either of these teams any good? Not really, at least by high-level SEC standards, but Missouri finds ways to win with a nasty defense, a strong pass rush – again – and with just enough talent to keep the middling Kentucky offense in check. It’s going to be up to which team struggles less.

    Missouri vs. Kentucky Prediction

    Final Score: Missouri 20, Kentucky 17, Line: Kentucky -3, o/u: 43.5

    Must See Rating: 5: 99 Homes – 1: The Intern … 3

    MORE: College Football Bowl Projections After Week 3

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