Thanks to a schedule shift, the Kentucky Wildcats are flying high into Columbia, Missouri on Saturday coming off of back-to-back dominant wins against Mississippi State and Tennessee. Missouri is coming off of an off week following their first win of this season, which was against the defending national champion LSU Tigers.
Both teams have to feel good coming into this game, but in recent history Kentucky has dominated this series, winning the last five and going 7-3 overall against the Tigers. Missouri came into this season after a lot of turnover trying to find their footing, but they appear to be finding their footing under first-year head coach Eliah Drinkwitz, who went 12-1 at Appalachian State as a first-time head coach. He previously served as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for NC State from 2016-18.
Missouri’s offense is led by redshirt freshman Connor Bazelak, who threw for 406 yards and four touchdowns two weeks ago against LSU.
A former four-star recruit ranked No. 210 (nation’s No. 10 QB) in the 2019 signing class by ESPN, Bazelak played at Archbishop Alter in Ohio, a state where Kentucky has recruited heavily under Mark Stoops. Kentucky actually offered Bazelak but lost out to then-Missouri head coach Barry Odom, who was fired following the 2019 season.
The Tigers spread the ball out a lot, as 16 different players have caught passes already this season. Senior receiver Jalen Knox leads the team with 14 grabs for 156 yards. He also has three runs for 20 yards and a score. Senior wideout Damon Hazelton is right behind him with nine grabs for 100 yards.