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Citrus Bowl had 2nd highest attendance of the non-New Year’s Six/CFP Bowls

Citrus Bowl had 2nd highest attendance of the non-New Year’s Six/CFP Bowls

In news that won’t surprise anyone who went to Orlando, the Citrus Bowl had the second highest attendance of the non-New Year’s Six and College Football Playoff bowls this season. 59,167 fans attended the event, second only to the Alamo Bowl between Washington State and Iowa State, according to Chris Andringa:

Those there said the crowd was a pretty evenly split between Kentucky and Penn State fans, and in a time when attendance at games is down across the country, an almost full stadium for a bowl was great to see:

The Big Blue Nation never disappoints.


@MelFish1

Woman accidentally knocked down by Lynn Bowden shares update

@MelFish1

A few of you have asked how the woman who was accidentally knocked down by Lynn Bowden on the sideline during the Citrus Bowl is doing. I have a great update for you.

Melanie Fish, a public relations specialist for VRBO, the Citrus Bowl’s sponsor, tweeted that she’s “sore but alive” after finding herself in the path of a runaway Lynn Bowden in the third quarter on Tuesday; in fact, she and Lynn reunited for a hug after the game.

In case you missed it, here’s the scary moment, after which Bowden helped Fish up and made sure she was okay before reentering the game:

WKYT’s Steve Moss and the Herald-Leader’s Alex Slitz, who also got run over by Bowden, are okay too:

I’ve often said being hit by a basketball as it flies out of bounds is my biggest fear on the job; I can’t imagine being hit by an actual player.


Expect Kentucky Wildcats to Fill the NFL Combine

@UKFootball

The Kentucky football team should be well-represented at this year’s NFL Combine in Indianapolis.

While the NFL waits to release the final guest list for this 2019 NFL Combine, Vince Marrow was feeling a little froggy.  This morning Marrow said he expects 11 Wildcats to participate in the pre-draft combine.

For those keeping track at home, Kentucky has eight seniors participating in postseason bowl games — Josh Allen, Darius West, Mike Edwards, Lonnie Johnson, Jordan Jones,  C.J. Conrad, Derrick Baity and Bunchy Stallings.  Although it’s not official, those eight will likely receive Combine invitations.

That does not include junior running back Benny Snell, a player NFL scouts will surely want to take a closer look at in Indianapolis.  For Marrow’s prediction to come true, George Asafo-Adjei and Chris Westry need to make the guest list.

The NFL Combine is Tuesday February 26 through Monday March 4.  If this many Wildcats earn invitations, you better believe KSR will be there for all of the festivities.


@UKFootball

CJ Conrad joins 1,000-yard club against Penn State

@UKFootball

Lost in the excitement surrounding the bowl victory was, surprisingly, CJ Conrad. The senior tight end has been in the spotlight all season, as the BBN continued to call for more touches for Conrad. But he was quietly successful and incredibly efficient. Even in games where he only had a few catches, Conrad found other ways to contribute to Kentucky’s victories (for example, his blocking and leadership experience). Plus, who could forget that win-clinching catch against Missouri?

But against Penn State, while playing alongside two players whose names will be listed in the UK record books for years to come, Conrad hit a memorable number of his own: 1,000 career receiving yards.

He made just one reception on New Years Day: a 21-yard catch. The grab made Conrad the 28th player in school history to record 1,000 receiving yards. He’ll end his career with a total of 1,015 yards.

The Citrus Bowl may have been the last time fans will get to see Conrad suit up for Kentucky, but there’s still football in his future. He’s already accepted an invitation to play in the East-West Shrine game on January 19. Plus, hopefully there will be some Sundays in his future…

But, he’s a realist. After missing last year’s bowl game due to injury, Conrad soaked in every moment of Tuesday’s victory against Penn State. Heading into the matchup, he admitted he would be emotional.

“I love this place,” the Ohio native said of the Bluegrass. “I love playing for Kentucky, and you never know when your last play of football will be.”

For a player – and a person – like CJ Conrad, hopefully not for a while.


@MaggieDavisKSR


Players and coaches react to Kentucky’s Citrus Bowl win

You’ve seen the post-game reactions from the field. You’ve seen the craziness that was KSBar. Now, see how the players’ reacted to Kentucky’s 10th win of the season.

Terry Wilson said it best:

Benny Snell, of course, had his own graphic to tweet:

AJ Rose is ready to pick up where Snell left off:

In case you missed it the first time…

Lynn Bowden was honest, as usual. But hey, can you blame him?

Some of the seniors got sentimental:

Even hard-nosed Kash Daniel got a bit emotion online:

Terry Wilson even earned a shoutout from an account named “Last Chance U Alum.” Yes, I’d say Terry is one of their success stories:

Coach Stoops tweeted out one of the best team photos of the year:

And Vince Marrow… Well, that’s why he’s the Big Dog.

**UPDATE: Yep, still the big dog


In a game of experience, DeAndre Square stood out as a true freshman

In a game of experience, DeAndre Square stood out as a true freshman

Kentucky’s 2018-19 football season was defined, for the most part, by seniors playing on the defensive side of the ball. In addition to Josh Allen, guys like Mike Edwards, Darius West, Lonnie Johnson, Derrick Baity and Jordan Jones (even with his last-minute eligibility issue) all made massive contributions for the Wildcats.

But, among the talented, experienced lineup, one true freshman began to make a name for himself: DeAndre Square.

The 6-foot-1 linebacker is from Detroit, Michigan; he joined the Wildcats as a four-star player and No. 20 outside linebacker in the nation. He was a big get for the staff, choosing Kentucky over LSU, Michigan State, Purdue, Wisconsin and Cincinnati.

After enrolling at UK last January, Square impressed the coaching staff throughout spring training. Once fall came around, he was used early and often. He recorded a tackle in each game this season, often filling in for Kash Daniel or Jordan Jones. During the Texas A&M game, Square recorded a career-high six tackles at Kyle Field. He finished his regular season with 29 tackles, 2.5 for loss, 3 quarterback hurries, a forced fumble and a pass deflection.

After an impressive regular season, Square was named to the SEC All-Freshman team – he was Kentucky’s only selection.

Then came the bowl game. The linebacker was credited with six tackles (three solos; three assists) and one sack against Penn State, a team that’s also led by experience and a graduate-student quarterback.

Even with the majority of Kentucky’s defense graduating, Mark Stoops is confident in the team’s young guys, including DeAndre Square, thanks to the precedent that’s already been set.

“These [older] guys set a great example and that’s the big thing. Just to set the tone for the program and what it takes and the hard work and these guys did a great example,” Stoops said after the Citrus Bowl. “We have very good, young kids and we’re excited to get to work with them.”

As a true freshman, DeAndre Square has plenty of time to do exactly what the coaching staff has been advertising: recruit and develop.


@MaggieDavisKSR


Another impressive stat for Benny Snell…

Another impressive stat for Benny Snell…

He already holds the title as UK’s all-time leading rusher. In addition to his 144-yard performance, Snell also added two more rushing touchdowns to his already-impressive resume against Penn State.

His grand total? Snell finished with 48 career rushing touchdowns in just three years at Kentucky. That number puts him up there with some pretty impressive company. Check out this graphic by the SEC Network:

@SECNetwork

Not bad. Tim Tebow finished his time at Florida with 57 rushing touchdowns; Herschel Walker finished with 49 TDs.

Take a look at the complete top-10 list:

Via SportsReference.com