Historic Bowl Bid Puts Kentucky vs. Clemson in Music City

Dec. 6, 2009

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LEXINGTON, Ky. - The University of Kentucky football team will be making a school-record fourth-consecutive post-season appearance as the Wildcats have accepted an invitation to play in the Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl against Clemson University.

The game will be on Sunday, Dec. 27, at 8:30 p.m. EST (7:30 p.m. CST in Nashville) at LP Field, home of the NFL's Tennessee Titans. It is the only bowl game of the day and will be televised live in prime time on ESPN.

"We're honored to be invited to the Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl," said Mitch Barnhart, UK Director of Athletics. "I congratulate Coach Rich Brooks and our senior class for an historic accomplishment in earning a fourth-consecutive bowl game.

Consecutive Seasons With a Bowl Victory
Utah 6
Texas 5
California 4
Louisiana Sate 4
Texas Christian 4
West Virginia 4
Kentucky 3
Georgia 3
Rutgers 3
Southern California 3
Oregon State 3
Bowl-game winning percentage (min. 13 bowls)
Team Winning Percentage Record
Utah .786 11-3
Southern California .660 31-16
Penn State .659 26-13-2
Boston College .650 13-7
Oklahoma State .632 12-7
Ole Miss .625 20-12
Kentucky .615 8-5
Georgia .602 25-16-2
Georgia Tech .595 22-15

"The great experiences our players and fans had in previous trips bring back wonderful memories. With this year's game on Sunday, Dec. 27, it gives Kentucky fans the opportunity to enjoy a weekend of festivities in Nashville before welcoming their team to LP Field.

"Kentucky fans have sold out the game and filled Nashville hotels in each of our last two visits. I know our fans will want to support this special group of seniors who have given us four-straight bowl appearances and some of the greatest moments in UK football history."

This game will mark the first time that Kentucky football teams have seen post-season action for four-straight years. UK began the string with a win against Clemson in the 2006 Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl, followed by another Music City victory in 2007 over Florida State. The Wildcats capped last season with a comeback triumph over East Carolina in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl.

This will be the 14 th bowl appearance in school history, with the Wildcats carrying an 8-5 record in post-season play. It will be the fourth time for UK to participate in the Music City Bowl. Kentucky has a 2-1 mark in the Nashville event, with a loss to Syracuse in 1999 before the two wins in 2006 and '07.

Kentucky has a 7-5 record this season, marking the first time since 1909-12 that the Wildcats have notched at least seven wins in four-consecutive seasons. Highlights included the first win over Auburn since 1966 and the first victory at Georgia since 1977. UK also extended its school-record non-conference win streak to 18 games.

Kentucky leads the series against Clemson, 8-4. The last two matchups have been in post-season play, with Clemson winning the 1993 Peach Bowl, 14-13, and UK prevailing in the 2006 bowl, 28-20.

Clemson won eight games this season and is the champion of the Atlantic Division of the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Tigers lost a thriller, 39-34, Saturday night against No. 12-ranked Georgia Tech in the ACC Championship Game. Clemson tailback C.J. Spiller, the ACC Player of the Year, rushed for 233 yards and four touchdowns and was named the game's Most Valuable Player.

"I watched Clemson last night and wow!" Brooks said. "They are a really good team. They have talent, just like the last time we played them, with great athletes on defense and one of the best running backs in college football.

"I saw a lot of (Spiller) the year we played him when he was a true freshman. He is a real talent. He has speed and decent size. He is also a great kickoff return guy. He has an NCAA record of seven kickoff returns for a touchdown. That is pretty impressive."

Brooks also commented on the significance of keeping the string of bowl appearances intact.

"The important thing is that we are in our fourth straight bowl and it is in a surrounding that we are familiar," Brooks said. "The routine will be a little different since it is over the Christmas holiday but we are familiar with where we are going to practice, the hotel and the meeting rooms. Now, we just have to see if we can keep our bowl streak and non-conference streak alive."

The Kentucky team will report to Nashville on Tues. Dec. 22. The Wildcats will have a normal game-week set of practices on Dec. 23, 24 and 25, with a walk-through on the 26 th , in preparation for the game on the 27 th .

TICKET INFORMATION

Fans may purchase tickets to the Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl:

  • In-person at the UK Ticket Office in the Joe Craft Center
  • By calling the ticket office at 800-928-2287
  • By mail or fax; print a ticket application from UKathletics.com and mail or fax (859-323-1269) to the ticket office

Tickets cost $70 for club level, $50 for lower level and $35 for upper level.

UK AMONG JUST 11 TEAMS WITH THREE-STRAIGHT BOWL WINS

Kentucky's victory over East Carolina in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl marked the third-straight year for a Wildcat post-season win, the first time in school history that has been accomplished, and put UK in elite company.

Only 11 teams in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision have won bowl games each of the last three years. Here's a list of the 11 teams and the consecutive number of seasons they have won bowls.

UK AMONG ALL-TIME BOWL PERCENTAGE LEADERS

Having won bowl games in three straight seasons, Kentucky's bowl-game winning percentage now ranks seventh in the nation among the NCAA Division I schools that have played in 13 or more bowl games.

Kentucky has an all-time record of 8-5 in bowl games, a winning percentage of .615. A total of 62 Division I schools have played at least 13 bowl games. UK ranks seventh among those 62 teams.

From the Music City Bowl: Kentucky to Play Clemson in 12th Annual Gaylord Hotel Music City Bowl

Bowl to Host First Primetime Game in its History

NASHVILLE, Tenn., (Dec. 6, 2009) - Representatives of the Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl announced today the University of Kentucky will represent the Southeastern Conference (SEC) in the 12 th annual Bowl and face off against the Atlantic Coast Conference's (ACC) Clemson University. Kick off will be Sunday, Dec. 27, 2009 at 7:30 p.m. CST at LP Field in Nashville. The game will be televised live on ESPN.

"The Bowl is thrilled to once again host the student-athletes, administrators and fans from the University of Kentucky and Clemson University," said Christine Karbowiak, Bowl chair. "Music City has proved to be a great destination for both teams, and we welcome both teams to our first primetime game in Nashville."

The Kentucky Wildcats are making their fourth Bowl appearance in Nashville, led this year on offense by all-purpose performers Randall Cobb and Derrick Locke. Cobb, who plays wide receiver and quarterback, finished the regular season second for the SEC in touchdowns; third in all-purpose yards per game; and third in punt return average. Locke leads the team in rushing and is second in the SEC in all-purpose yardage. It has been a year of milestone victories for the Wildcats as they won at Auburn for the first time since 1961 and at Georgia for the first time since 1977.

"We're honored to be invited to the Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl," said Mitch Barnhart, Kentucky director of athletics. "I congratulate Coach Rich Brooks and our senior class for an historic accomplishment in earning a fourth-consecutive bowl game. The city and Bowl staff treats the teams and fans in first-class fashion and we're privileged to be their guests. Nashville is a great place to visit as a nationally renowned entertainment center. Our experiences in previous trips bring back wonderful memories."

The Clemson Tigers are making a return to Nashville after playing Kentucky in the 2006 Bowl. Senior running back C.J. Spiller was named the ACC Player of the Year and the ACC Offensive Player of the Year for the 2009 season. Spiller, along with tight end Michael Palmer and safety DeAndre McDaniel, were given first-team All-ACC honors. C.J. Spiller also holds the NCAA record for kick off returns for touchdowns in a career, and is the only player in the NCAA to score a touchdown every game during the 2009 campaign. Clemson finished third in the ACC in total defense, second in scoring offense, second in passing defense and third in rushing offense.

"We are excited to be selected for the Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl," said Terry Don Phillips, Clemson University director of athletics. "This will be our second appearance in this bowl and it was an outstanding experience for our program the first time around. Nashville is a great city and has a lot to offer in terms of entertainment for our fans. It is also a game that will take place in a state-of-the-art NFL facility against Kentucky."

The 2009 game will mark the fourth Bowl match-up between the SEC and ACC in Nashville. SEC teams have won the first three conference matchups under the current Bowl contract with the ACC.

"We're excited to welcome back the teams and fans of Kentucky and Clemson, and we look forward to having them play in the Bowl's first ever primetime game," said Scott Ramsey, Bowl president and CEO. "We anticipate this holiday weekend will be a busy time for local hotels, businesses and entertainment attractions, as well as a great showcase for our city on ESPN."

Since its inception in 1998, the Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl has produced $153 million in direct economic impact to Nashville, and has had millions of viewers through its live ESPN telecast.

Bowl tickets are available for purchase through Ticketmaster online at Ticketmaster.com/MusicCityBowl or at any Ticketmaster location. For more information, call the Bowl office at 615.743.3130, visit the Bowl online at MusicCityBowl.com or follow the Bowl on Facebook and Twitter .

SPECIAL NOTE TO FANS:

For fans attending the game, please visit MusicCityBowl.com to purchase game day parking. Several parking options are available, but for those wishing to park in a stadium parking lot at LP Field, passes must be pre-purchased. No parking passes at LP Field will be available to purchase on game day.