Kentucky defeats Penn State in Citrus Bowl

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Kentucky capped just the third 10-win season in program history with a 27-24 win over Penn State in the Citrus Bowl on New Years Day. Kentucky started the game well and after stopping a Penn State fake punt attempt they managed to convert the change of possession into a 28-yard field goal on their first drive.

National defensive player of the year Josh Allen (pictured above) totaled three sacks and blocked a field goal as star running back Benny Snell (pictured below) broke UK’s career rushing yards record gaining 144 yards on 26 carries with two touchdowns.

The Wildcats gained some breathing room when Freshman wide receiver Lynn Bowden (pictured below) stretched UK’s lead to 10-0 with a 58-yard punt return for a touchdown with 45 seconds left in the first quarter. Penn State showed some muscle though as they pulled within three points with a 5-play, 75-yard touchdown drive capped by a 1-yard touchdown run from quarterback Trace McSorley early in the second quarter.

Kentucky’s offense came to life on the first drive of the second half as they gained 65 yards on six plays for their first touchdown with a 2-yard Snell run. The Wildcats then scored on each of their next two drives as a 28-yard Butler field goal and a 12-yard Snell run as they recorded 17 unanswered points.

Penn State were not done though and McSorley, who was sidelined early in the third quarter amid a report from the sideline that he would miss the rest of the game with a broken foot, returned after one possession to score his second touchdown from a 1-yard run to cap a 10-play, 75-yard drive to pull within 27-14 with 13:37 remaining.

McSorely then hit tight end Pat Freiermuth for an 18-yard touchdown pass with nine minutes remaining to pull the Nittany Lions within six points at 27-21.  A 32-yard field goal pulled Penn State within three points at 27-24 to set up an interesting finish but as he so often did in his UK career, Snell, who announced before the game he will enter the NFL draft and forgo his senior season, clinched the win with two first downs on the Wildcats’ final drive.  This left Penn State with just one final play that was fumbled and recovered by UK linebacker Chris Oats and with it the victory and the Citrus Bowl trophy.

More photos at www.FloridaLeisurePhotography.com

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