LEXINGTON, Ky. – University of Kentucky senior linebacker Josh Allen, sophomore all-purpose player Lynn Bowden Jr., and senior offensive guard Bunchy Stallings were named to various All-Bowl teams after stellar performances in the VRBO Citrus Bowl on Jan. 1.
Allen (Montclair, New Jersey) was a unanimous All-Bowl Team selection by ESPN, USA Today, Associated Press and Sports Illustrated after validating the voters who elected him winner of the Nagurski, Bednarik and Lott awards as National Defensive Player of the Year. Allen turned in a dominant performance with three quarterback sacks, a blocked field goal and a QB hurry and, by the way, his field goal block helped provide the margin of victory in UK’s 27-24 win over Penn State.
Bowden’s (Youngstown, Ohio) 58-yard punt return touchdown was a huge play in Kentucky’s win. It was the first punt return touchdown in Kentucky bowl history and the first punt return TD in the Citrus Bowl since 1992. Bowden also had five receptions for 84 yards, including a mercurial 54-yard catch-and-run that set up what proved to be the game-winning touchdown. He was named to the AP and USA Today All-Bowl Teams.
Stallings (McComb, Mississippi) was named to ESPN’s All-Bowl Team after leading the Wildcat O-Line by grading at 88 percent. He helped Benny Snell Jr., the VRBO Citrus Bowl Most Valuable Player, run for 144 yards and two touchdowns while becoming UK’s all-time career rushing leader. Stallings had two knockdown blocks during the game and 22 blocks at the point of attack, including a hole-clearing effort on Snell’s 12-yard touchdown run that also was the play that broke the rushing record. “Give a huge, huge gold star to Bunchy Stallings, his (Snell’s) right guard,” ABC-TV analyst Brock Huard said on the replay of the TD.