Kentucky needed a long scoring drive to put the Missouri Tigers out of reach. They got it, thanks to a little improvisation from Stephen Johnson and Boom Williams.
On the opening drive of the second half, the Tigers marched 69 yards down the field in three minutes. It looked as though they were going to make it a one-score game, but the defense held their own before Mizzou missed a field goal.
The Tigers were gaining momentum, but not for long.
The Cats responded by milking the clock for six minutes. To take control of the momentum for good, they needed to put an exclamation point on the drive with a touchdown. Facing a 3rd and 11, Eddie Gran drew up a shuttle pass to Boom Williams, but Missouri’s defense had other plans.
“They had a great rush there. We had a shuffle pass. He was supposed to underhand (toss) that and he couldn’t because of the pressure,” Mark Stoops said.
“We both recognized the blitz so I tried to drift away as far as I could,” Stephen Johnson said. “He expedited his route around turned around really fast. We got him the ball, he made one guy miss and he scored the touchdown.”
See for yourself.
“That was a great job by Stephen, being able to stand in there, take that pressure and deliver a good pass,” Boom said after the game.
Johnson’s numbers don’t jump off the page — 14/23 for 208 yards, 2 touchdowns and an interception — but he’s a playmaker. That play changed the game. With a three touchdown lead, the Cats rolled.
“That’s Stephen making plays that a lot of people don’t completely understand,” Stoops said. “That kind of play is helping us win football games.”