Kentucky comes up just short in 24-23 loss to Northwestern

Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl

Kentucky vs. Northwestern

Nissan Stadium, Nashville, Tenn.

Dec. 29, 2017

 

FINAL SCORE: #20 Northwestern 24, Kentucky 23

 

Team Records and Series Information

  • Kentucky finishes the season 7-6.
    • UK is one of two schools in the nation that has tied or improved its win total in each of the past five seasons.
  • Northwestern is 10-3, ending the season with an eight-game win streak.
  • Northwestern leads the series 2-0. The previous game was a 7-0 win by Northwestern in Evanston during the 1928 season.

 

Team Notes

  • Making its 17th bowl appearance, Kentucky is now 8-9 in postseason action.
  • Kentucky made its fifth appearance in the Music City Bowl, more than any other school in the 20-year history of the event, also in 1999, 2006, 2007 and 2009. UK is now 2-3 in the Music City Bowl.
  • Kentucky went 4-3 this season in games decided by seven points or less.
  • Kentucky scored on the game’s first possession, a 67-yard drive in five plays, capped with a Benny Snell three-yard touchdown run.
  • Kentucky also scored on its first possession of the second half, a 74-yard drive in six plays, finished by a three-yard TD run by Stephen Johnson.
  • Trailing by 10 points with 7:49 to play, Kentucky rallied and had a chance to win in the last minute, missing a two-point conversion with 37 seconds remaining.
  • The Kentucky defense made some magnificent stands, stopping Northwestern on downs four times during the game, including twice in the fourth quarter.

 

Player Notes

  • UK’s game captains were WR Charles Walker, QB Stephen Johnson, LB Courtney Love and S Mike Edwards.
  • Senior quarterback Stephen Johnson completed 19 of 36 passes for 257 yards.
    • Johnson also rushed six times for 19 yards and two touchdowns.
    • Despite playing only two years, Johnson finished ninth in school history with 4,342 passing yards.
  • Sophomore running back Benny Snell rushed six times for 15 yards and one touchdown.
    • Snell finished the season with 1,333 rushing yards, most by a sophomore in school history.
    • Snell has 2,424 rushing yards in his career, currently eighth in school history.
    • Snell finished the year with school records for most rushing touchdowns in a season (19) and career (32).
    • Snell also finished the season with a school record 116 points.
    • Snell has 194 points in his career, moving past Craig Yeast (192 points) for seventh place on the UK career scoring list.
  • Sophomore wide receiver Tavin Richardson had his best game as a Wildcat, setting career highs with five receptions for 89 yards.
  • Senior wide receiver Garrett “Juice” Johnson caught two passes for 39 yards.
    • Johnson finished his career with 2,089 receiving yards, fourth best in school history.
    • Johnson has 155 career catches, fifth in school history.
  • Senior kicker Austin MacGinnis made his only field goal of the game, a clutch 48-yarder in the fourth quarter.
    • MacGinnis made 22 of 28 field goals for the season.
    • MacGinnis broke his own school record for most field goals in a season. He made 21 as a freshman in 2014.
    • He improved his UK career scoring record to 359 total points, including a season record 72 field goals.

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