by Ben Ennis
ORLANDO, FL. – Two players who had the choice of not playing in the VRBO Citrus Bowl helped lead the Kentucky Wildcats to a record-setting victory over the Penn State Nittany Lions before 59,167 fans to make Kentucky’s 10-3 record the team’s best season in 41 years. Wildcats’ Benny Snell, Jr. ran for 144 yards and two touchdowns to become Kentucky’s career rushing leader and was selected as the game MVP. Just as important, after Penn State quarterback Trace McSorley got hot and cut a 27-7 deficit going into the fourth quarter to three points, Snell ran for a couple of crucial first down to help Kentucky run out the clock.
Kentucky’s defensive star, consensus future first round pick and Southeastern Conference defensive player of the year Josh Allen had three of the Wildcats’ six sacks and a blocked field goal attempt.
Kentucky Head Coach Mark Stoops said, “I’m just proud of our team for doing the things necessary to close it out, and if you don’t have a physicality about you like that and you don’t have a guy like Benny, it’s hard to do because the whole stadium knew he was going to run the ball and grind out a first down or two to ice the game was critical. So very proud of the group and appreciate their effort.”
Photos by Ben Ennis