Jacksonville Sports Day

CITRUS: Snell Leads Kentucky Win Over Penn State

Photo by Phelan M. Ebenhack

ORLANDO – No. 14 Kentucky held off No. 12 Penn State, 27-24, in the VRBO Citrus Bowl on New Year’s Day in Camping World Stadium. This was Kentucky’s first appearance in the Citrus Bowl.

Kentucky junior running back Benny Snell, Jr. was voted Most Valuable Player.

He rushed 26 times for 144 yards and two touchdowns. Snell finished his career with 3,873 rushing yards, breaking the UK career rushing record of 3,835 yards by Sonny Collins from 1972-75.

His 3,873 rushing yards rank 12th in SEC history. He is fifth in SEC history in rushing yardage before a senior season.

Kentucky sophomore QB Terry Wilson completed 9 of 15 passes for 121 yards. Adding his 29 net rushing yards, he accounted for 150 yards total offense. He became the first Wildcat player with at least 1,500 passing yards and 500 net rushing yards in the same season.

Trace McSorley totaled 321 yards of total offense, throwing for 246 yards and two touchdowns on 17-of-33 passing and rushing for one touchdown and 75 yards on 19 carries.

He was most successful in the fourth quarter, completing 8-of-12 passes for 131 yards and a touchdown.

Kentucky returned a punt for a touchdown and another return set up a field goal to swing the game in its favor, overcoming a 410-297 deficit in total offense. It was PSU’s first allowed punt return touchdown since Northwestern’s Venric Mark in 2012.

The Wildcats’ Miles Butler made both of his field goal attempts, both from 28 yards. He also made all three of his extra points.

Both of McSorley’s touchdown passes were to tight ends, as Bowers caught Penn State’s second-quarter score and Freiermuth scored in the fourth. Bowers finished with three catches for 32 yards, while Freiermuth had two catches for 38 yards and a touchdown.

CITRUS NOTES: Kentucky ends the season 10-3, with a three-game winning streak. Penn State is 9-4. After four straight bowl losses, UK claimed its first postseason victory since Jan. 2, 2009, a 25-19 triumph over East Carolina in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl. Attendance of 59,167 was the largest Citrus Bowl attendance with a non-Florida team since Jan. 1, 2013.

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