LEXINGTON, Ky. – The University of Kentucky football team will be making a school-record fourth-consecutive post-season appearance as the Wildcats have accepted an invitation to play in the Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl against Clemson University.
The game will be on Sunday, Dec. 27, at 8:30 p.m. EST (7:30 p.m. CST in Nashville) at LP Field, home of the NFL’s Tennessee Titans. It is the only bowl game of the day and will be televised live in prime time on ESPN.
“We’re honored to be invited to the Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl,” said Mitch Barnhart, UK Director of Athletics. “I congratulate Coach Rich Brooks and our senior class for an historic accomplishment in earning a fourth-consecutive bowl game.
“The great experiences our players and fans had in previous trips bring back wonderful memories. With this year’s game on Sunday, Dec. 27, it gives Kentucky fans the opportunity to enjoy a weekend of festivities in Nashville before welcoming their team to LP Field.
“Kentucky fans have sold out the game and filled Nashville hotels in each of our last two visits. I know our fans will want to support this special group of seniors who have given us four-straight bowl appearances and some of the greatest moments in UK football history.”
This game will mark the first time that Kentucky football teams have seen post-season action for four-straight years. UK began the string with a win against Clemson in the 2006 Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl, followed by another Music City victory in 2007 over Florida State. The Wildcats capped last season with a comeback triumph over East Carolina in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl.
This will be the 14th bowl appearance in school history, with the Wildcats carrying an 8-5 record in post-season play. It will be the fourth time for UK to participate in the Music City Bowl. Kentucky has a 2-1 mark in the Nashville event, with a loss to Syracuse in 1999 before the two wins in 2006 and ’07.
Kentucky has a 7-5 record this season, marking the first time since 1909-12 that the Wildcats have notched at least seven wins in four-consecutive seasons. Highlights included the first win over Auburn since 1966 and the first victory at Georgia since 1977. UK also extended its school-record non-conference win streak to 18 games.
Kentucky leads the series against Clemson, 8-4. The last two matchups have been in post-season play, with Clemson winning the 1993 Peach Bowl, 14-13, and UK prevailing in the 2006 bowl, 28-20.
Clemson won eight games this season and is the champion of the Atlantic Division of the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Tigers lost a thriller, 39-34, Saturday night against No. 12-ranked Georgia Tech in the ACC Championship Game. Clemson tailback C.J. Spiller, the ACC Player of the Year, rushed for 233 yards and four touchdowns and was named the game’s Most Valuable Player.
“I watched Clemson last night and wow!” Brooks said. “They are a really good team. They have talent, just like the last time we played them, with great athletes on defense and one of the best running backs in college football.
“I saw a lot of (Spiller) the year we played him when he was a true freshman. He is a real talent. He has speed and decent size. He is also a great kickoff return guy. He has an NCAA record of seven kickoff returns for a touchdown. That is pretty impressive.”
Brooks also commented on the significance of keeping the string of bowl appearances intact.
“The important thing is that we are in our fourth straight bowl and it is in a surrounding that we are familiar,” Brooks said. “The routine will be a little different since it is over the Christmas holiday but we are familiar with where we are going to practice, the hotel and the meeting rooms. Now, we just have to see if we can keep our bowl streak and non-conference streak alive.”
The Kentucky team will report to Nashville on Tues. Dec. 22. The Wildcats will have a normal game-week set of practices on Dec. 23, 24 and 25, with a walk-through on the 26th, in preparation for the game on the 27th.
Fans may purchase tickets to the Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl:
In-person at the UK Ticket Office in the Joe Craft Center
By calling the ticket office at 800-928-2287
By mail or fax; print a ticket application from UKathletics.com and mail or fax (859-323-1269) to the ticket office
Tickets cost $70 for club level, $50 for lower level and $35 for upper level.