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Missouri vs. Kentucky 2012: Defense keys Tigers' first SEC win

The Missouri defense turned all three Kentucky lost fumbles into touchdowns in a 33-10 win over the Wildcats on Saturday. The win was the Tigers first in the SEC.

Dak Dillon-US PRESSWIRE

The Missouri Tigers finally won their first SEC game this weekend, defeating the visiting Kentucky Wildcats 33-10 on Saturday at Faurot Field. Missouri's defense was the key to victory, turning all three Kentucky lost fumbles into touchdowns and shutting out the Wildcats in the second half of the game.

Via SB Nation's Missouri blog Rock M Nation:

In all, this was a solid performance. The Mizzou defense allowed 115 yards in Kentucky's first two, incredibly well-scripted drives, then allowed just 64 yards the rest of the way. The offense, meanwhile, took steps forward and backward but controlled the line of scrimmage and eventually found a rhythm.

The solid play of the defense more than made up for an offense that struggled mightily under Corbin Berkstresser much of the game, until he was replaced by James Franklin, still recovering from a sprained MCL. Berkstresser was intercepted on consecutive passes to begin the second half before getting replaced by Franklin.

With Franklin at less than 100 percent, Missouri focused on the ground game Tigers Mizzou running backs Kendial Lawrence, Marcus Murphy and Russell Hansbrough combined for 188 yards on 38 carries, with Lawrence scoring twice on the ground.

With a SEC win under their belts, Missouri now must travel to Gainesville next Saturday to take on a Florida Gators team coming off a tough loss to Georgia.