Sophomore wide receiver Tavin Richardson celebrates after a reception vs. Ole Miss on Saturday, November 4, 2017, at Kroger Field. Kentucky accepted a bid to play Northwestern in the Music City Bowl on December 29th. Photo by Keyli Chisesi (Go Big Blue Country)
The Kentucky football team learned their postseason fate on Sunday afternoon and it’s going to be a battle of the Wildcats. Kentucky will face the Northwestern Wildcats of the Big Ten in the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl in Nashville, TN.
This marks the seventeenth time Kentucky will participate in a Bowl game and the fifth time it will be the Music City Bowl, the most of any team in the history of the bowl. Overall, Kentucky owns an 8-8 record in bowl games, including a 2-2 record in the Music City Bowl. The most memorable were wins vs. Clemson (2006) and Florida State (2007).
Mark Stoops’ Wildcats finished the 2017 regular season with a record of 7-5 and a 4-4 mark in SEC play. The Wildcats started 6-2 after a win vs. Tennessee but finished the season on a 1-3 stretch.
Meanwhile, Northwestern enters with a record of 9-3 (7-2 Big Ten) and they are riding a seven-game win streak. The Wildcats finished the season ranked No. 21 in the final College Football Playoff rankings. Pat Fitzgerald, the head coach of Northwestern, has led the Wildcats to three straight bowl games and eight during tenure.
The matchup is a tough one for Kentucky but it’s an opportunity to gain some momentum heading into the spring. Northwestern’s three losses this season came at the hands of Duke, No. 6 Wisconsin, and No. 9 Penn State. Mixed in with their 9 wins are impressive victories vs. No. 18 Michigan State, Iowa, and Purdue. A win would give Northwestern their fifth 10-win season in program history.
Kentucky is aiming for their first 8-win season since 2007 when the Wildcats won the Music City Bowl vs. Florida State. The last time Kentucky won a bowl game was the 2008 season when they defeated East Carolina in the Autozone Liberty Bowl.
Kickoff is set for 4:30 p.m. ET in Nashville on December 29th. The game will be broadcast on ESPN and take place at Nissan Stadium, home of the Tennessee Titans.