Kentucky football: Wildcats grind it to the very end in bazaar fashion to win

Kentucky Wildcats wide receiver Dane Key (Credit: William Purnell-USA TODAY Sports
Kentucky Wildcats wide receiver Dane Key (Credit: William Purnell-USA TODAY Sports /
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Kentucky football
Keidron Smith #1 and D’Eryk Jackson #54 of the Kentucky Wildcats i. (Photo by Jay Biggerstaff/Getty Images) /

Kentucky’s defense is rock solid again as new faces fill some big roles

With their stud linebackers, DeAndre Square and Jacquez Jones both sidelined with injuries the Wildcats had some reserves rise up and shine.

Trevan Wallace stepped in and led the team with 9 tackles (8 solo) with three for a loss and one sack while JJ Weaver and D’Ayrk Jackson both had six solo tackles. Andru Phillips also had six tackles and Keidron Smith is going to be a star chalking up another 4 tackles.

The Wildcat defense had shut down the Tigers much of the game and didn’t allow a first down till 5:15 left in the third quarter. They had held Missouri in check as the Tigers were 0-7 on third downs and just 80 total yards at that point trailing 14-3.

In fact, Mizzou didn’t go over 100 yards until a 26-yard strike just before the third quarter came to an end.

But in their final drive of the third quarter, they went nine plays for 52 yards and in their first of the fourth quarter, seven plays for 64 yards they took a 17-14 lead as the UK offense was sputtering.

They tightened up and only allowed 12 yards in the final two drives after that and came up with a fumble by Weaver on the final play as the Tigers had to go to hook and ladder.

Brad White’s defense has now limited their opponents to 24 points or less in 12 of the last 13 games, posting a 10-2 record in those games. Also in that span UK has held the opponent to less than 400 yards in 12 of the last 13 games, going 10-2.

Against Missouri, they held the Tigers to just three points which is the third time this season they have held an opponent under three in the half.