ORLANDO, Fla. — Kentucky beats Iowa 20-17 in the VRBO Citrus Bowl. Their second win in the bowl in the last four post-seasons.
The Wildcats season ends with a 10-3 record and a 2nd place finish in the SEC's Eastern Division.
After forcing Iowa to punt on the first possession, Kentucky would drive 80 yards in 13 plays for the first score of the game. Will Levis was 6-of-6 on the drive for 41 yards with the final pass completed to Chris Rodriguez for the five-yard touchdown. Levis hit five different receivers during the possession and three of those were to the tight ends. Wildcats led 7-0.
After stopping UK on its next possession, Iowa put together its best drive to that point in the game. The Hawkeyes would go 55 yards in 10 plays before settling for a 28-yard field goal from Caleb Shudak. Kentucky still held a 7-3 lead.
After Kentucky extended the lead back to seven after a Matt Ruffolo 21 yard field goal, the Wildcats came up with the first turnover of the game. Iowa was attempting a pass but Jordan Wright jumped to tip the pass and D'Eryk Jackson intercepted it. That would lead to another Ruffolo field goal from 27-yard field goal. Quandre Mosley would intercept a hail mary pass in the endzone to end the half. UK would lead 13-3 at the break.
Iowa would score first in the second half. After UK stopped the Hawkeyes on 4th down, the Wildcats couldn't move the ball and punted to mid-field. The Hawkeyes would finish a 6 play, 50-yard drive with a 20-yard touchdown run by Arlan Bruce. The UK lead was down to 10-3.
The Wildcats were forced to punt for a third straight time in the second half. Iowa would get the go-ahead drive by moving the ball 92 yards in 9 plays. It was capped off by a Spencer Petras 36 yard touchdown pass to Sam LaPorta. The Hawkeyes had their first lead at 17-13 with 10:54 to go in the game.
Kentucky and Iowa traded possessions before Kentucky went 80 yards in eight plays to score its go-ahead touchdown. Will Levis hit Wan'Dale Robinson four times for 86 yards on the drive after the Wildcats lost some yards on the drive. Chris Rodriguez finished it off with a six-yard carry for the touchdown.