ORLANDO, Fla. (WYMT) - Kentucky is looking for their first 10 win season since 1977, and Tuesday the Wildcats can do just that with a win in the VRBO Citrus Bowl.
Below are some predictions and keys to the game from our employees at WYMT.
Sports Director, Marcus Browning: UK 24, Penn State 21.
Kentucky finally gets it done. For their third straight bowl game, the Wildcats finally walk off of the field victorious. It will be thanks to some big plays offensively, and of course Josh Allen and the defense holding the Nittany Lions’ potent offense with Trace McSorley to just three scores.
Kentucky will come out rusty like we’ve seen in games this season but will take the lead in the second half and ultimately hold on to win by three points.
Entering the game, Penn State was listed as a 6-point favorite according to ESPN, but once again the “underdog” Wildcats prove their doubters wrong, capping off a historic season for Kentucky football.
With the win, it would give the current senior class (2015-18) the most wins (29) in their career since the class from 2006-2009 won 30 total games.
General Manager, Neil Middleton: Kentucky shocks the experts one more time. #WhyNot
Josh Allen and Benny Snell could have easily sat this game out to prepare for the NFL. The fact they are playing says a lot about their commitment to the UK program and their teammates. Allen and Snell have some unfinished business.
This team thrives in the underdog role and the experts have given Kentucky plenty of motivation since the matchup with Penn State was announced.
Snell needs 107 yards to become UK's all-time leading rusher. He'll find a way to get it against a stout Penn State defense. Snell rushes for 125-150 yards.
Allen will introduce himself to Trace McSorley early and often. Look for Allen to pick up three sacks and force one turnover to cap his career as UK's best defensive player ever.
The senior class makes a strong statement with a 28-27 Citrus Bowl victory.
Sports Reporter, Tommy Pool: Just like Kentucky, Penn State has a pretty stout defense.
As mentioned above, Benny Snell Jr. needs just 107 yards to become the Wildcats all-time leading rusher. If the Wildcats standing any chance, Benny will break the record.
U.K. will also need to lead at halftime to take the pressure off the defense in the second half, just like they did in the first half of the season finding success.
The Nittany Lions have many offensive weapons too in QB Trace McSorley and RB Miles Sanders, averaging nearly 6 yards per carry on the way to rushing for 1,223 yards and nine TDs.
The game will be just like Texas A&M and Georgia. UK needs to limit mistakes and produce on the offensive side of the ball. If they can do that, they win 31-24.
Sports Reporter, Willie Hope: Kentucky’s defense gets it done once again. It will be interesting to see if Penn State comes out slow or comes out like they’re playing against Ohio State. Regardless I think UK ends their historic season with a win in Orlando. Wildcats win 24-17.
Chief Meteorologist, Andrew Dockery: I grew up a Penn State football fan. For me, it was Penn State on Saturday’s along with the Kentucky Wildcats when they did not play at the same time.
I am excited and thrilled to see my two favorite teams battle it out in Orlando. I can’t believe I am going to see this happen.
Penn State looks for their third consecutive 10-win season. That would be the first time it happened since Big Ten competition in 1993.
If Penn State wants to win this game, they need to get Miles Sanders going. Feed the run, to open up the pass later. Trace McSorley is going to have a tough time with Kentucky’s defense but if they can get man coverage, look for McSorely to take some shots deep. Ball protection will be key for both teams.
If Kentucky wants to win this game, they need to get Benny Snell going early. Penn State gives up quite a bit of rushing yards early. They always seem to fix the issue in the second half. If that’s the case, it’s going to come down to Terry Wilson. Can Terry make the big throws in the second half? That’s the key.
I am going to love every second of this game. I hope it comes down to the wire. I'm going with Penn State winning 27-24. We Are!
Kentucky and Penn State will kick off on ABC at 1 PM
Series Record: Penn State leads 3-2.