Terry Wilson threw a 2-yard touchdown pass to C.J. Conrad on the final play to give No. 12 Kentucky a 15-14 victory over Missouri on Saturday.
Kentucky took over on its own 19 with 1:24 left. With 4 seconds left, Wilson threw toward Ahmad Wagner in the back left corner of the end zone. Wagner caught the ball out of bounds, but Missouri cornerback DeMarkus Acy was called for pass interference, giving Kentucky an untimed down that it turned into the winning score.
“Amazing victory by our team,” Kentucky coach Mark Stoops said. “Just could not be more proud of this group, the way we just stuck together, played as a complete team.”
Lynn Bowden Jr. returned a punt 67 yards for a touchdown with 5:18 left to pull the Wildcats (7-1, 5-1 Southeastern Conference) to 14-9.
Kentucky held Missouri (4-4, 0-4) without a first down on eight second-half possessions.
“There’s anger, there’s hurt, there’s sadness — about every emotion on that side of things that you can feel,” Missouri coach Barry Odom said. “That’s what we have.”
Wilson, who was replaced by backup Gunnar Hoak for part of the second half, completed 22 of 31 passes for 267 yards. Bowden had 13 catches for 166 yards. Benny Snell, who entered the game as the nation’s fourth-leading rusher, gained just 67 yards on 19 carries.
Missouri opened a 14-3 halftime lead with two 10-play touchdown drives. Damarea Crockett scored on a 2-yard run early in the second quarter, and Larry Rountree added a 1-yard TD run just before halftime.
Missouri’s Drew Lock completed 15 of 27 passes for 165 yards.
Kentucky appeared to have squandered its last chance to get back in the game when A.J. Rose was stuffed on a fourth-and-goal run from the 2-yard line with 7:31 left. It was the third failed fourth-down conversion of the game for the Wildcats. But a few minutes later, Bowden returned the punt for a touchdown and the comeback was on.
Kentucky: The Wildcats keep finding ways to win despite scoring little. Kentucky’s defense has held six opponents under 20 points this season. The Wildcats held the Tigers to just 249 total yards.
Missouri: Barry Odom is 0-7 against ranked opponents in three years as head coach. Lock is 0-9 against Top 25 teams in his four years as a starting quarterback.
Kentucky, which was a seven-point underdog to unranked Missouri, is sure to rise in the rankings.
Kentucky: The Wildcats return home to face seventh-ranked Georgia.
Missouri: The Tigers travel to ninth-ranked Florida.