Although the 2018 squad is not a Kentucky football team of years past, James Franklin has quite the favorable history when matching up with the Wildcats during his coaching career.
Prior to his arrival at Penn State, Franklin faced Kentucky three times as the head coach of Vanderbilt. In those three games, he went 3-0 with a scoring margin of 100-14. Those match-ups featured victories with the final scores of 38-8, 40-0, and 22-6.
Since Franklin’s departure, Vanderbilt has gone 1-4 against the Wildcats.
Although Franklin dominated Kentucky during his time down south, only one of those wins came against current head coach Mark Stoops. Stoops, since taking the job in 2013, has miraculously turned around a program with an abysmal history, similar to what Franklin did during his brief stint at Vanderbilt.
Penn State hasn’t met up with Kentucky since the 1999 Outback Bowl, when a big day from LaVar Arrington fueled a 26-14 Nittany Lion victory.
Kentucky will certainly be hungry for a win over James Franklin’s team, as a Citrus Bowl victory would provide the Wildcats their first double-digit win season since 1977. Yes, you read that correctly.
In the same time period, Penn State has 17 seasons with at least ten wins.
Kentucky’s star linebacker Josh Allen has already announced he will participate in the Citrus Bowl despite a presumed top-five selection in this year’s draft. James Franklin will have his hands full with Allen as well as AP first team All-American guard Bunchy Stallings and third team running back Benny Snell if he wants to stay undefeated against the Wildcats in his coaching career.
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