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Kentucky headed to Belk Bowl

Kentucky’s Citrus Bowl win ended a 10-3 season in 2018. This year UK will go for its eighth win in the Belk Bowl in Charlotte. (Vicky Graff Photo)

By GUY RAMSEY, UK Athletics

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Bowl eligible yet again, the Kentucky Wildcats have accepted a bid to play in the Belk Bowl and will face Virginia Tech Dec. 31 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Kickoff is scheduled for noon at Bank of America Stadium, with ESPN carrying the national television broadcast. The Belk Bowl appearance is the first in school history.

“We’re honored to be invited to the Belk Bowl to play an outstanding opponent in Virginia Tech,” head coach Mark Stoops said. “Our team fought through a lot of adversity this season and I’m proud of our players for earning another bowl bid. It will be exciting to make our first trip to Charlotte and we look forward to seeing the Big Blue Nation join us there.”

Stoops is the second coach in school history to lead Kentucky to four straight bowl berths, joining Rich Brooks (2006-09) in accomplishing this feat. UK will be playing in the 19th bowl game in school history, holding a 9-9 record after winning last year’s VRBO Citrus Bowl.

“It’s an honor for us to play in this game for the first time and we thank Danny Morrison and the entire Belk Bowl team for selecting UK,” Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart said. “Our fourth straight bowl berth is a credit to the dedication of our coaches and players and the support of our fans. We ask the Big Blue Nation to join us in Charlotte and show why we have such a reputation for painting our bowl destinations Kentucky Blue.”

All Kentucky football season ticket holders and eligible K Fund donors that placed a Belk Bowl request during the priority request period (Nov. 23-Dec. 5) will receive tickets, and confirmation emails will be sent Sunday evening. Tickets ordered during the priority request period will be allocated into the best seat locations in Kentucky’s official allotment and assigned in order of K Fund priority point ranking later this week.

After holding tickets to fulfill all priority requests, remaining tickets in Kentucky’s official allotment will go on sale Monday, Dec. 9 at 9 a.m., online at or by calling (800) 928-2287, option 4. Tickets start at $92 each and will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis. Fans will be able to select specific seat locations upon purchase. For more information about purchasing Belk Bowl tickets, visit Student ticket information for the Belk Bowl will also be available on Sunday evening, online at

Kentucky enters the bowl with a 7-5 record on the strength of a 5-2 finish to the regular season punctuated by a three-game winning streak. UK has won at least seven games in four straight seasons, tying the longest streak in school history, behind a bruising ground game that ranks fifth nationally and first in the SEC with 274.4 yards per game entering this weekend. The Wildcats have reformed their offensive identity behind wide receiver turned quarterback Lynn Bowden Jr., who has rushed for 1,235 yards (1,136 in his seven starts at QB).

That ground game complements a defense that has overcome the loss of national defensive player of the year Josh Allen and its entire starting secondary to once again become one of the nation’s best units. UK ranks tied for 13th in scoring defense (18.4 points per game) and 24th in total defense (324.3 yards per game) entering this weekend.

UK’s opponent, Virginia Tech, enters the Belk Bowl after finishing 8-4 (5-3). The Hokies were in contention for an ACC title game appearance until a 39-30 loss to Virginia to close the regular season. Virginia Tech’s defense had a pair of All-ACC performers in cornerback Caleb Farley and linebacker Rayshard Ashby. UK has an 11-6-2 all-time record against the Hokies, winning the last matchup in 1987, 14-7.


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  1. Congratulations to Coach Stoops and our Kentucky Wildcats Football Team

    1. Maybe, but UK beat your team, Louisville, didn’t they? Most real UK fans are very proud of this football team today, but not you. Hey Mike “Mr. Cardinal” 45-13, hurts don’t it! You’re still mad about it. Lost your partner too, ha ha ha ! You will never live that loss down, not based on your posts before the Louisville thrashing by the Kentucky Wildcats. Feeling lonely on this site these days “Mr. Cardinal? ” You are a “red bird” or there ain’t a cow in Texas. LOL

      1. Lets take a vote on this here sit and see if our folks on VV’s agree with you and your anti UK rants. If I lose on the voting, I will leave this site for a year. But, if I get more votes than you, you go. I propose Hornet1 to be the tally man. You want to play? Why you may be right Mr. Cardinal. But I can take it, LOL

      2. “site”

    2. @Mike:
      I have a question.
      Why are you so determined to make a fool of yourself?
      It makes no sense.

  2. Mike, doesn’t matter were in a bowl game. Jesus cry me a river!!!

    1. Cats79….you have been on this post for a day or two now. Why in the world would you ever believe that I am not happy we are in a bowl? I could not be happier for team, coaching staff, and BBN. I come on here mostly to unglue Pup and you can see that it is working..still “rent free” in his head.

  3. Oh by the way SEC doesn’t want the same team playing the same bowl game within 3 years time frame that had a lot of factor in it

    1. Good point Cats79, and I am just thankful UK is in a bowl game for the fourth straight year. This will be a good match up against the Hokies.

      1. Pup….will you please calm down. You are safe, secure, and hopefully off the playground.

  4. Glad we are in a Bowl. ACC was weak besides Clemson. I like our match-up with Vir Tech. Sorry I can’t go, having surgery 26th, but I will be rooting for my Cats on my couch. CATS! CATS! CATS!

  5. Pup…….you were the one that inspired the term “sick puppy”. Can’t you find something else to do with your spare time than to come on here spewing this nonsensical banter? Are you really that starved for attention. Best thing you posted yesterday was that you were willing to stop posting for a year…free the Pup…Rah Rah!

    1. Tell me Mike, did you get Satterfield’s autograph yet? He is ACC coach of the year. You were very excited about that before UK whipped UL like a dog. Bowden’s 284 yard rushing record in that game was “boring” to you, remember? Gran’s offense was “so predictable” according to you, and also boring. The only problem with your views, they don’t sound like much of a UK fan to me, and most teams down the stretch couldn’t stop Gran’s offense, even with our star WR running that offense, and into the record book. Most us UK football fans just like to win, plain and simple. We were elated. Lonely now ain’t it Mike. Now, UK is going to the Belk Bowl, the 4th straight bowl appearance, but you are still not satisfied with Stoops and Gran? Mike says we have been “Duped by Stoops.” Really?

      1. YAWN & IGNORE

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