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Kentucky to face Iowa in VRBO Citrus Bowl

Will Lewis, Austin Dotson
Posted at 2:45 PM, Dec 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-05 16:32:25-05

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — No. 22 Kentucky will be heading to Orlando, Fl. to face No. 15 Iowa in the VRBO Citrus Bowl on New Year's Day.

Linebacker DeAndre Square is ready:

This will be the second time in the last four seasons the Wildcats will play in the Citrus Bowl. They defeated Penn State 27-24 to cap off the 2018 season.

Iowa is the alma mater of head coach Mark Stoops, where he played safety from 1986-1988. He got his first coaching gig at Iowa as a Graduate Assistant in 1990.

The Cats have a 9-3 record after finishing the regular season with a 52-21 victory over Louisville to reclaim the Governor's Cup.

The Hawkeyes are 10-3 and will be coming off a 42-3 loss to No. 2 Michigan in the B1G Championship Saturday night.

This is Kentucky's 6th straight bowl appearance under Stoops. The Cats have won their previous 3 bowl games (Citrus Bowl in 2018, Belk Bowl in 2019, Tax Slayer Bowl in 2020).

Brief Iowa Overview

The Hawkeyes had a great start to the season, winning their first 6 games and even went as high as No. 2 in the AP Poll. Back-to-back losses to Purdue and Wisconsin brought them back to earth before closing the regular season on a 4-game winning streak prior to falling to Michigan in the B1G Championship.

Iowa, like Kentucky in previous years, relies heavily on its defense. The Hawkeyes average 23.9 points per game and rank 123rd nationally in total offense with 297.5 yards per game.

Spencer Petras has been the main man under center this season. Petras has thrown for 1,669 yards, 9 touchdowns and 6 interceptions with a passer rating of 117.8.

The Hawkeyes leading rusher is Tyler Goodson, who's rushed for 1,151 yards (4.5 yards per carry) and 6 touchdowns.

Iowa's defense, led by linebacker Jack Campbell, ranks 19th nationally in total yards allowed at 326.8 per game and ranks 14th in scoring defense giving up just over 19 points per game.

This will be Iowa's 34th bowl game appearance. Like Kentucky, it's also won its last 3 bowl games.

Kickoff for the VRBO Citrus Bowl is scheduled for 1 p.m. on New Year's Day.

College Football Playoff

The top four seeds in this year's College Football Playoff are as follows: No. 1 Alabama, No. 2 Michigan, No. 3 Georgia, No. 4 Cincinnati.

Notre Dame comes in at No. 5 and Ohio St. comes in at No. 6.

The Crimson Tide will face the Bearcats (first non-power five team to make the CFP) in the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic while the Wolverines will face the Bulldogs in the Capital One Orange Bowl on New Year's Eve.