No. 17 Iowa, No. 25 Kentucky clash in Citrus Bowl showdown
Citrus Bowl: No. 17 Iowa (10-3) against No. 25 Kentucky (9-3), Jan. 1, 1 p.m. Eastern (ABC).
Line: Kentucky by 3, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.
Series record: First meeting.
WHAT’S AT STAKE
Kentucky is trying for a rare 10-win season. Since going 11-1 in 1950 under coach Paul “Bear” Bryant, the Wildcats have only accomplished the feat twice (1977 and 2018). Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz (9-8) is seeking his 10th bowl victory, which would tie Joe Paterno for most bowl wins as a member of the Big Ten.
Kentucky quarterback Will Levis against the Iowa defense, which leads the country with a school-record 24 interceptions and ranks third nationally in regular-season takeaways with 30. Levis has completed 66.5% of passes for 2,593 yards and 23 touchdowns. He also has nine rushing TDs.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Iowa: Tyler Linderbaum, who was named the Rimington Trophy award winner as the most outstanding FBS center. The junior was also an unanimous consensus All-American
Kentucky: Running back Chris Rodriguez Jr. has 2,633 career rushing yards for seventh place on the school’s all-time list He needs 15 yards to tie George Adams (2,648, 1981-84) for sixth. His 25 career rushing touchdowns are one away from tying Moe Williams and Sonny Collins for second in program history.
FACTS & FIGURES
Iowa running back Tyler Goodson will not play after deciding to enter the NFL draft. He ran for 1,151 yards. … Kentucky coach Mark Stoops has 58 wins at the school. Only Bryant, with 60, has more …. Stoops is facing his alma mater. … Kentucky and Iowa are looking to extend non-conference 16-game winning streaks, which are the longest active streaks in the country. … It is the second time in school history, Kentucky has a 2,000-yard passer (Levis), 1,000-yard rusher (Rodriguez Jr.) and 1,000-yard receiver (Wan’Dale Robinson) in the same season. Robinson has single-season school-record 94 catches for 1,164 yards and six TDs.
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