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Orlando Florida, 1-1-22
Happy New Year Cats fans!!
The UK Wildcats shook off a bad second half to come back and defeat a very game Iowa Hawkeyes. UK would play a stellar 1st half and would lead the Hawkeyes. UK would have to fight back to gain the win.

Game Notes from UK ATHLETICS:

FINAL SCORE: Kentucky 20, Iowa 17

Team Records and Series Information

  • Kentucky concludes the season with a 10-3 record. Iowa ends the season at 10-4.
  • This was the first meeting between the teams.

Kentucky in Bowl Games

  • Kentucky made a school-record sixth straight bowl appearance, breaking the mark of five straight following the 2006-10 seasons.
  • Kentucky is 12-9 in bowl games and has won a school-record four a row.
    • All four bowl wins have been by seven points or less. 
  • This was the third time during UK’s four bowl win streak that the Wildcats clinched the game with a turnover in the final minute –
    • 2019 Citrus Bowl, Chris Oats fumble recovery on the final play
    • 2019 Belk Bowl, Jordan Wright fumble recovery and touchdown return on the final play
    • 2021 Citrus Bowl, DeAndre Square interception with 48 seconds left.
  • Kentucky is 2-0 in the Vrbo Citrus Bowl, also winning on January 1, 2019. 

What the Wins Means for Kentucky

  • Kentucky has won 16 consecutive non-conference games, the longest active streak in the nation.  Kentucky and Iowa had entered the game tied with 15 straight non-league wins.
  • Kentucky’s fourth-straight bowl win is a school record, breaking the record of three straight previously accomplished on two occasions.
    • The Sugar Bowl and Cotton Bowl following the 1950 and 1951 seasons, followed by a win in the 1976 Peach Bowl
    • 2006 and ’07 Music City Bowls and the Liberty Bowl following the 2008 season.
  • Kentucky is 10-3 for the first time since 2018. This is the fourth time in school history that UK has won at least 10, along with 1950 (11-1), 1977 (10-1) and 2018. 
    • This is the first time that UK has had at least eight total victories (including bowls) three times in a four-year span since 1949-52.
  • Kentucky defeated two ranked opponents this season, also No. 10/9 Florida.  This is the third time in the last four seasons that UK has defeated at least two ranked opponents in the same year, also 2018 and 2020.
  • This is the first time that UK has won its season finale four years in a row since 1898-1901.
  • This was Coach Mark Stoops’ 59th win as UK head coach. Paul “Bear” Bryant holds the school record with 60 victories.
  • Stoops is now 59-53 at Kentucky.  After two games of the 2016 season, his record was 12-26 but has gone 47-27 (.635) since.
  • Stoops extended his school record for most total games coached at UK (112).
  • Stoops is in his ninth season as head coach of the Wildcats, tying Fran Curci (1973-81) for most seasons as head coach at UK.

Team Notes

  • Since 2016, UK is 20-8 (.714) in games decided by seven points or less, including 5-1 this season.
  • UK is 10-0 this season when keeping the opponent under 30 points. UK has won 12 in a row when keeping the opponent under 30.
  • Kentucky scored a touchdown on its opening possession, the eighth time this season that UK has scored on its first possession of the game.
  • Kentucky intercepted three passes today, tying the UK bowl record set last year vs. North Carolina State in the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl.
  • Entering the game next to last in the nation in turnover margin at minus-13, UK was plus two today.

“The Drive” – part two

  • For the second time in the last three seasons, the Wildcats put together a magnificent scoring drive to win the game.
  • In the 2019 Belk Bowl, quarterback Lynn Bowden Jr. engineered a magnificent 18-play, 85-yard drive that took eight minutes and 10 seconds off the clock, ending with a 13-yard touchdown pass to Josh Ali with 15 seconds remaining for the go-ahead score vs. Virginia Tech.
  • This year, it was QB Will Levis’ turn, with the help of Wan’Dale Robinson and Chris Rodriguez.  After Abule Adadi-Fitzgerald and DeAndre Square stopped Iowa on third-and-one at the Iowa 45-yard line, the Hawkeyes punted to the end zone and the Wildcats took over on their own 20-yard line with 3:31 on the clock and no timeouts remaining.
  • Levis drove his team 80 yards in eight plays, the first 79 yards of which were courtesy of Robinson — a 17-yard reception on third-and-10, then a 10-yard reception for a first down, followed by a 52-yard catch-and-run that went to the one-yard line.
  • After a five-yard penalty sent the Wildcats back to the six, Rodriguez took a handoff around left end, broke a tackle at the nine-yard line, then plowed through multiple tacklers for the game-winning touchdown with 1:48 remaining.
  • The 80-yard, eight-play effort took 1:43 off the clock.

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