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NCAAF: Kentucky’s Chris Rodriguez runs wild in win over Missouri

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Christopher Rodriguez Jr. scored four touchdowns Saturday as Kentucky kicked off SEC play with a 35-28 victory over visiting Missouri in Lexington, Ky.

After a strong Week 1 performance in which he ran for 125 yards and a touchdown in a rout of ULM, Rodriguez took his game to another level against the Tigers. The junior tailback finished with 207 rushing yards on 27 carries, including three touchdowns. He added another score on his only catch of the night.

With the game tied at 28-28, Kentucky went on a crisp five-play drive that ended with Rodriguez’s 8-yard TD run up the middle with 11:28 to go. Missouri later drove into Wildcats territory, but quarterback Connor Bazelak was sacked on third down, and his fourth-down pass fell incomplete.

Kentucky’s Will Levis was 10 of 18 for 179 yards with one touchdown through the air and another on the ground. Wan’Dale Robinson was his favorite target with five catches for 101 yards to lead the Wildcats (2-0, 1-0 SEC).

Bazelak threw for 294 yards and four touchdowns in a losing effort. Tyler Badie led Missouri (1-1, 0-1 SEC) in rushing yards (61 on 14 carries) and receiving yards (88 on 10 receptions).

Kentucky led by 14 points three separate times before Missouri ultimately crawled back into a fourth-quarter deadlock.

Rodriguez caught a 5-yard touchdown pass on the game’s opening drive and added a 2-yard TD run later in the first quarter for a 14-0 cushion.

Bazelak’s first touchdown pass to Daniel Parker made it 14-7 late in the first quarter before a 3-yard TD run by Levis restored a two-touchdown lead. Bazelak responded with another scoring strike, this one a 17-yard hookup with Keke Chism in the waning seconds of the opening half.

Once again, Kentucky answered to create another 14-point lead, going ahead 28-14 on Rodriguez’s short TD run less than two minutes into the third quarter.

Bazelak then rallied Missouri into a 28-28 tie with two more touchdown passes — first a 6-yard strike to Parker midway through the third, and then a 17-yard connection with Badie with 13:11 to go in the contest.

–Field Level Media

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