COLUMBIA, Mo. -- In a game plagued by 10 fumbles and a pair of interceptions, Missouri proved to be the bigger opportunist Saturday in an alarmingly-sloppy 33-10 win over Kentucky.
The Tigers converted all three of Kentucky's lost fumbles into touchdowns to turn a seven-point game late in the third quarter into a romp. The Wildcats, meanwhile, managed only 3 points out of Missouri's three turnovers.
Kendial Lawrence rushed for 108 yards and two touchdowns to lead Missouri (4-4, 1-4) to its first league win as a member of the Southeastern Conference.
Kentucky (1-8, 0-5 SEC) fumbled six times in the game, losing three. The first was an ominous sign of things to come, occurring on the Cats' opening drive of the game as UK running back Jonathan George coughed up the ball at the Missouri 10 to negate a potential scoring drive. The Tigers' Sheldon Richardson, who stripped the ball from George, returned it 60 yards to the Cats' 25 to set up a touchdown run by Lawrence four plays later.
Another costly UK fumble came later on a field goal attempt, wiping a shot at three more points off the board. The Cats also missed a field goal and were plagued by numerous penalties that derailed other drives.
Still, the outcome hung in the balance until the fourth quarter. Freshman cornerback J.D. Harmon recorded the first two interceptions of his UK career on consecutive plays early in the third quarter, but the Cats could not convert either big play into points.
From there, the Tigers gradually pulled away, getting a 9-yard touchdown run by Marcus Murphy early in the fourth quarter and capitalizing on UK's final miscue as E.J. Gaines returned Raymond Sanders' fumble 13 yards for the final score.
After gaining 110 yards on its first two drives of the game, Kentucky managed only 69 net yards on its next 12 possessions covering 42 plays. The Cats finished 1-for-12 on third-down conversions.
Defensively, UK allowed a season-low 273 yards and only 87 yards through the air.
09:32 MU Lawrence,Kendi 5 yd run (Baggett,Andrew kick)
4 plays, 25 yards, TOP 1:34 0 - 7
08:01 UK Raymond Sanders 1 yd run (Craig McIntosh kick)
4 plays, 50 yards, TOP 1:23 7 - 7
01:18 MU Baggett,Andrew 44 yd field goal
7 plays, 12 yards, TOP 2:44 7 - 10
12:17 UK Craig McIntosh 43 yd field goal
6 plays, 8 yards, TOP 2:29 10 - 10
01:32 MU Lawrence,Kendi 2 yd run (Baggett,Andrew kick)
11 plays, 52 yards, TOP 4:17 10 - 17
00:49 MU Baggett,Andrew 31 yd field goal
9 plays, 34 yards, TOP 4:09 10 - 20
14:12 MU Murphy,Marcus 9 yd run (Baggett,Andrew kick blockd)
2 plays, 12 yards, TOP 0:48 10 - 26
08:09 MU Gaines,E.J. 13 yd fumble recovery (Baggett,Andrew kick)
10 - 33