The game will take place at 1:00 p.m. on January 1st, 2019 in Camping World Stadium, and there will be plenty of pregame prep and analysis here on A Sea of Blue in the weeks to come. But for now, let’s look at how Mark Stoops has gotten his guys to this point.
The Wildcats opened the season with Vegas setting this team’s over/under at 5.5 games. That number was eclipsed in mid-October when a victory over the Vanderbilt Commodores moved Kentucky to 6-1.
The Wildcats finished the season with a record of 9-3, finishing second in the SEC East and having a shot to travel to Atlanta for the SEC Championship game. Nine wins is the most for Kentucky since the 1984 season, and the most regular season victories since 1977. A win in the Citrus Bowl would match the 1977 win total of 10.
This year’s defense was potentially the best in school history, finishing 8th in the country in scoring defense, 17th in passing defense, and 23rd in total defense. This dominant group was led by senior outside linebacker Josh Allen, who is likely to be named an All-American and is projected as a top 5 pick in the NFL Draft. Allen now owns Kentucky’s all-time record in sacks (28.5) as well as the single season record (14).
While the offense struggled at times, running back Benny Snell carried the load and both Terry Wilson and Lynn Bowden made big plays in key situations. Snell is just 107 yards away from Kentucky’s all-time rushing record, and hopes to eclipse that mark in the Citrus Bowl.
Stay tuned for more bowl game preparation at A Sea of Blue. See you in Orlando!