Kentucky played in its second straight bowl game and 5th Music City Bowl against #21 Northwestern in Nashville.
UK got the ball first and quickly scored. Stephen Johnson connected with Tavin Richardson for a 26 yard gain and then again for a 37 yard pick-up down to the 3 yard line. Two players later, Benny Snell, Jr. ran it in for the score. 7-0 Wildcats from Lexington.
UK kept Northwestern in check until their 3rd possession of the game. The Wildcats got a 28 yard gain from running back Jeremy Larkin to get into UK territory. Northwestern would also convert on a 4th and 1 to keep the drive going. However, UK shut it down from there as Northwestern settles for a 33 yard field goal from Charlie Kubander. 7-3 Kentucky
The first quarter ended with Derrick Baity picking up a personal foul while making a late tackle. Justin Jackson followed that up with a 9 yard gain. UK would leading after the first 7-3.
Start of the 2nd Quarter, Northwestern was into UK territory when Clayton Thorson pitched to Jeremy Larkin, he then pulled up and threw it back to Thorson who was tackled by Jordan Jones and appeared to suffer a knee injury. After Thorson was carted off the field, Matt Alviti would replace him. On the season, he had played 4 games completing 7 of 11 passes for 105 yards
Kentucky would also lose a starter and a big one. After fighting for yardage and being tackled by several Northwestern defenders, Benny Snell, Jr. came up and used an officials hands to help him up and questioned him in the process. A flag was thrown for coming in contact with an official and Snell was disqualified.
The first turnover of the game happened as Stephen Johnson was hit. Richardson tried to catch the ball but it went in the air where Montre Hartage picked it off. That led to a quick five play drive by Northwestern for 55 yards and capped off by a 2 yard touchdown by Justin Jackson. 17-7 Northwestern.
On UK's next possession, the offense was moving the ball. On 3rd down, Stephen Johnson was tackled out of bounds and no penalty was called. It would have set up a field goal attempt but the UK sideline was flagged for complaining to the officials pushing them too far away for an attempt. Johnson was then seen leaving the field holding his arm.
Drew Barker would come on the field for the final :31 of the first half. He completed his first pass but there was a penalty that called it back.
UK trailing Northwestern at the half, 17-7
Northwestern got the ball first in the second half and marched into UK territory. On 4th and 2, Alviti's pass was incomplete. UK would take over on downs.
Stephen Johnson returned to the field. On the drive, Sihiem King rushed for 12 yards. Johnson then fired deep to Kayaune Ross who made a spectacular diving catch to the Northwestern 19 yard line. Johnson then found Richardson for 14 yards down to the 3. Next play, Johnson ran it in on the keeper for the score. UK cutting the deficit to 17-14.
Northwestern would drive again. They were inside five until penalties pushed them back and the Wildcats had to settle for a 43 yard field goal. Charlie Kuhbander missed wide right to keep the UK deficit at three, 17-14 after three quarters.
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