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Football Season Coverage

“Hey Kentucky!” is live from Nashville

“Hey Kentucky!” is live from Nashville

Tonight’s “Hey Kentucky!” comes to you live from the streets of Nashville, where Matt Jones and Drew Franklin tackle the topics of the day, from Denzil Ware’s suspension to the latest update on Zion Williamson. Check out a clip below:

You can see the full episode on

Mascot Showdown: The Kentucky Wildcat vs. the Northwestern Wildcat

Mascot Showdown: The Kentucky Wildcat vs. the Northwestern Wildcat

The Music City Bowl will determine which Wildcats are superior on the football field, Kentucky’s or Northwestern’s, but what about the mascots themselves?

I channeled my inner Freddie Maggard and scouted the two to determine which feline reigns supreme:

The Kentucky Wildcat, aka “The Cat”

Height: 6’0″

Age: 41

First appeared in costume in the 1976-77 season


Not afraid of heights:

Can fly:

Can hit halfcourt shots:

Runs a decent route:

Has rappelled down a building:


Can’t do the splits:

Go-To Moves

C-A-T-S chant:

Pushups after each score:

“Willie” the Wildcat

Height: 5’9″

Age: 80

Had extensive work done in 2007


Ice skating:




Easily distracted:

Go-To Moves



High fives?


Northwestern’s Willie the Wildcat has the edge in gymnastics and festive formal wear (his flashy suits are a nod to Northwestern alum Craig Sager), but he is no match for the Kentucky Wildcat when it comes to big stunts or basketball and football skills. Also, whereas the Cat is known for leading the C-A-T-S chant and his pushups, I can’t find much footage of Willie doing anything other than giving fans high fives and the occasional backflip.

Given his large tufts of hair, jovial face and generally passive nature, Willie seems more of a goofy, friendly mascot, similar to the Cat’s sidekick, Scratch; meanwhile, the Cat isn’t afraid to put one of his nine lives on the line for the fans, swinging from the rafters in Rupp and rappelling down buildings.

VERDICT: The Kentucky Wildcat is obviously superior…but Willie’s suits are pretty awesome.

Will Motivation Be a Problem for Northwestern?

Taylor Arnold | USA Today

Northwestern doesn’t belong in the Music City Bowl.  The 9-3 Wildcats should be playing in a prestigious warm-weather bowl, but for a variety reasons, they’re stuck in Nashville.

There are many ways to size up Kentucky’s overachieving opponent, but one important intangible that cannot be measured is how much they care.  Does Northwestern really want to be here?  It can be the deciding factor in the game, but we will not know the true answer to that question until the ball is kicked off.

Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald expects his team to embrace the challenge of beating Kentucky.  “If you’re not motivated to send your seniors out in the right way, then you probably don’t have the maturity you need as a ball club, and you have bigger problems than just this game.”

Despite Fitzgerald’s expectations, he did acknowledge the difficult task of preparing for one game over a month and the distractions that come into play during that time.

“I think a bowl game is similar to your opener. Sometimes if you have an immature team as you go through training camp, you go through bowl season, if those young men that are 17 to 22 years old don’t look at their opponent the way they should, they get obviously complacent in their preparation. It shows. It’s obvious. Only had that a handful of times, but it’s obvious when that happens.

“The same thing in bowl season. Somebody gets picked instead of us perception-wise. The best thing and the worst thing going right now is the coverage of our game. Our guys are probably more on Snapchat than they are sleeping, things of that nature. There’s a lot of noise. Do they focus on the noise or on the task at hand?”

Mark Stoops’ program should have no problems with motivation.  In just the program’s second bowl in six years, Kentucky lost the last two games of the 2017 regular season by a combined score of 86-30.  Since the painful losses, Stoops has seen his players respond.

“I’ve been very pleased with our team, the attitude they’ve had towards this bowl prep. They’ve worked really hard back on campus, prior to getting down here in Nashville. Since we’ve been here, they’ve really been on point.”

Bowl games are supposed to be fun, until it’s time to hit the field.

“We’re here to compete,” Stoops said.  “As you get closer to game time, that focus, that intensity level certainly kicks up, you’re ready to get out there and play football.”

The Wildcats that are more prepared to play a physical ball game will leave Nissan Stadium victorious.

Watch Kash Daniel Enter the Music City Bowl Wrestling Ring

Watch Kash Daniel Enter the Music City Bowl Wrestling Ring

The Kentucky and Northwestern football teams were treated to semi-professional wrestling as their Wednesday night bowl week entertainment.  They couldn’t keep Kash Daniel out of the ring.

In-between bouts, the middle linebacker entered the ring and channeled his inner Stone Cold Steve Austin.  He’s a natural fit on top of the turnbuckle.

Stoops Expects to see a Rejuvenated Stephen Johnson

Stephen Johnson sacrificed his body to get Kentucky seven victories.  In the picture above, he dove into the end zone for a game-winning score to beat Tennessee, only to land on the injured shoulder that previously took him out of the game.  That physicality took a toll on the Kentucky quarterback’s body and he did not look the same in the second half of the season.

The injuries appeared to add up for Johnson in the second half of the season.  He completed just 56 percent of his passes through the final six games and scored as many touchdowns as interceptions (two).

Stoops does not expect to see that version of Stephen Johnson tomorrow in Nashville.  After a month of rest, Stoops believes Johnson is rejuvenated and ready to lead Kentucky to another victory.

“It’s been good for Stephen and many of our players to hit the reset button,” Stoops said. “Towards the end of the season, he was beat up. You’ve seen him play. You see the way he lays it on the line each and every week. He’s definitely not the most physical person in stature. He took a pretty good beating throughout the season.

“But he’s very resilient. He’s tough. It’s very hard to get him out of the games, as you know. But he is healthy. Had a chance to rest up for a couple weeks, get back in the weight room, gain some weight. He’s looked very good here.”

Johnson earned a special place in UK history when his excellent performance took down Lamar Jackson’s Louisville.  If he can replicate that performance one more time against the Big Ten’s worst passing defense to bring home a bowl trophy, Johnson’s name will forever be mentioned as one of the greatest to ever play the position at UK.

Kentucky Brought Hard Hats and Lunch Pails to the Music City Bowl

There have been some big changes in Kentucky’s bowl prep, but one thing remains the same — the Cats have gone to work.

In unfamiliar territory a year ago facing an opponent with an unconventional offense, Mark Stoops pushed his team, maybe too far.  This year he’s lightened things up and made practice more fun.  However, when it’s time to work, the Cats work.

“One thing Coach Stoops does a great job of, he talks to a lot of different staffs. As you go through these bowl games, there’s different ways you can slice that orange,” offensive coordinator Eddie Gran said at today’s press conference.

“He did change it up this year. Our kids, the energy is unbelievable. It’s been a lot of fun. But they’re getting their work done. It’s been a hard hat, lunch pail when we go to work, and fun when you’re allowed to have fun. It’s been a whole lot different than last year. It’s been exciting.”

It isn’t as sexy as the turnover chain, but if the construction worker cliche works for Kentucky, it should work for the entire Big Blue Nation.

LIVE: Music City Bowl Press Conference

LIVE: Music City Bowl Press Conference

Mark Stoops and Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald are about to address reporters about the Music City Bowl. Tune in live below courtesy of LEX18:

Lexington, Evanston mayors bet bourbon on the Music City Bowl

Lexington, Evanston mayors bet bourbon on the Music City Bowl

Bragging rights are on the line for Kentucky and Northwestern in tomorrow’s Music City Bowl, but for the mayors of Lexington and Evanston, Illinois, bourbon is too.

According to the Evanston Roundtable, Evanston Mayor Stephen Hagerty and Lexington Mayor Jim Gray have bet a bottle of bourbon each on tomorrow’s game. If Kentucky wins, Mayor Hagerty will send Mayor Gray a bottle of Evanston’s FEW Spirits Bourbon Whiskey; if Northwestern wins, Mayor Gray will send Mayor Hagerty a bottle of Lexington’s Town Branch Bourbon.

“Nashville may be known for its country music, but Kentucky will be singing the blues on their way home from Music City,” said Mayor Hagerty. “As much as I’d like to show Mayor Gray that one of the world’s best bourbons is distilled outside Kentucky, it will be a pleasure to toast Northwestern Football with some of the Bluegrass State’s finest after the ‘Cats crush UK. Cheers to both teams on incredible football seasons –  may the best Wildcats win.”

“We are looking forward to cheering our Big Blue Wildcats on to a win at this weekend’s Music City Bowl,” Mayor Gray said. “Everyone knows that Kentucky is the World’s Bourbon Capital, but I’m looking forward to enjoying some nice Illinois spirits from Mayor Hagerty when our Cats bring the trophy home to Lexington. I join the mayor in congratulating both teams on their hard work and successful seasons.”

Not to be that person, but isn’t bourbon only bourbon if it’s made in Kentucky? I’m far from an expert, but that’s what I’ve heard on every distillery tour I’ve taken. Something to do with the limestone?

Regardless, either way, somebody’s drinking bourbon (or whiskey?); I call that a win-win situation.

[Evanston Roundtable]

Pic by Land of 10

Northwestern Scouting Report Part I

Pic by Land of 10

It’s game week. The 2017 bowl season took a turn into the surreal with the advent of a December Signing Day that occurred five days before Christmas. Both holidays were subdued by the passing of former UK great Joey Couch. But, the show must go on.

Northwestern got hosed. Pat Fitzgerald’s team should be in Florida preparing for the Outback Bowl vs. South Carolina or in California practicing for the Holiday Bowl against the Fighting Mike Leach’s. Instead, the 9-3 Wildcats are in Nashville facing the Kentucky Wildcats in the Music City Bowl. Its state of mind come 4:00 on Friday will factor on the scoreboard. You see, bowl games are exhibitions that are often won by the team that actually wants to be there come kickoff. That theory has been proven in the past week. Let’s preview UK’s bowl opponent:


— Conference: Big Ten

— Record: 9-3

— Enters the game riding a seven game winning streak.

— Had overtime wins over Iowa, Nebraska, and Michigan State in three consecutive weeks.

— Head Coach: Pat Fitzgerald, 86-65 all at Northwestern. Was an All-American linebacker for the Wildcats. His coaching record by year:

  • 2006: 4-8
  • 2007: 6-6
  • 2008: 9-4
  • 2009: 8-5
  • 2010: 7-6
  • 2011: 6-7
  • 2012: 10-3
  • 2013: 5-7
  • 2014: 5-7
  • 2015: 10-3
  • 2016: 7-6
  • 2017: 9-3

2017 Schedule  

Opponent Score
Nevada W 31-20
@Duke L 17-41
Bowling Green W 49-7
@Wisconsin L 24-33
Penn State L 7-31
@Maryland W 37-21
Iowa W 17-10 (OT)
@Nebraska W 39-31 (3OT)
Michigan State W 31-24 (OT)
Purdue W 23-13
Minnesota W 39-0
@Illinois W 42-7


Not your stereotypical Big Ten offense. Can operate at an up-speed tempo, throw it all over the field, or feature the power run with the program’s all-time leading rusher, RB Justin Jackson. Quarterback Clayton Thorson is similar to Wyoming’s Josh Allen (arm strength not as elite) but a big, strong sneaky athletic signal caller who is accurate in the short-intermediate passing game. Thorson is a future professional. Offensive line is solid; led by junior guard Tommy Doles and has a rising star in freshman tackle Rashawn Slater. It can utilize tight ends in a diverse manner and scores touchdowns at an extremely high rate in the Red Zone.

— Scheme: Spread/Multiple

— Ran 921 offensive plays (Most of any UK 2017 opponent).

— Run/Pass Ratio: 52.2% run, 47.7% pass.

— 52.2% run. 1,931 yards, 28 TD, 160 ypg.

— 47.7% pass. 2,931 yards, 17 TD, 12 INT, 244-ypg.

— 4th in Big Ten Long Scrimmage Plays: 180 of 10+yards.

— Fumbled 8 times, lost 6.

— RB Justin Jackson Big Ten-3rd, 1154-yards from scrimmage.

— QB Clayton Thorson Big Ten-3rd, 234 pass yards per game.

Projected Starters

*Quarterback 18 Clayton Thorson 6’4, 225 Jr.
*Running Back 21 Justin Jackson 5’11, 200 Sr.
Tight End 9 Garrett Dickerson 6’3, 248 Jr.
Left Tackle 72 Blake Hance 6’5, 300 Jr.
Left Guard 59 J.B. Butler 6’3, 305 Jr.
Center 69 Brad North 6’2, 290 Sr.
*Right Guard 71 Tommy Doles 6’4, 292 Jr.
**Right Tackle 70 Rashawn Slater 6’3, 289 Fr.
Receiver 15 Macon Wilson 6’0, 185 Sr.
Receiver 2 Flynn Nagel 5’11, 194 Jr.
Receiver 88 Ben Skowronek 6’4, 218 Soph.

*All-Big Ten

**Freshman All American

Top Performers

Passing QB Clayton Thorson 2,809 yds, 60.6%, 15 TD, 12 INT, 234 ypg
Rushing RB Justin Jackson 255 carries, 1,154 yds, 9 TD, 96-ypg
Receiving WR Ben Skowrenek 42 catches, 619 yds, 5 TD

2017 Offensive Results

Score 29.7 ppg Big Ten-4th
Rush 160.92 ypg Big Ten-8th
Pass 244 Big Ten-5th
Total 405.2 Big Ten-4th
3rd Down 35.48% Big Ten-8th
Red-Zone 90.74% (39/49 TD) Big Ten-2nd

Pic of Paddy Fisher by Land of 10


Throwback, traditional 4-3 defense with two excellent linebackers: Freshman All American Paddy Fisher (110 tackles) and Nate Hall (16.5 TFL). The Wildcats rank 10th in the nation by allowing just 111 rush-yards per game. Defensive end Joe Graziano led the Big Ten in QB sacks with 8. NU is strong up the middle with the aforementioned linebackers and a pair of All-Big Ten safeties Kye Queiro and Godwin Igwebuike. Pat Fitzgerald’s defense is tough, sure tackling, and extremely stingy in the Red-Zone. It only allows 52% touchdowns beyond the 20-yard line. Expect it to load the box and dare Eddie Gran to pass. NU’s pass defense is suspect as it surrenders 234 pass yards per game; last in the Big Ten. In fact, it allowed 116 long pass plays (10+yards) which ranks 13th in the league.

— Scheme: 4-3

— 1335 yards allowed vs. rush. 2971 pass yards allowed

— Forced 16 turnovers

— +5 turnover margin, Big 10-2nd

— Allowed 116 Long Pass Plays, Big Ten-13th

— LB Paddy Fisher Big Ten-1st forced fumbles (4)

— Sam LB Nate Hall 16.5 TFL, Big Ten-2nd

— DE Joe Gaziano 8 QB Sacks, Big Ten-1st

— S Kyle Queiro 4 INT, Big Ten-3rd

Projected Starters

*Defensive End 97 Joe Gaziano 6’4, 280 Soph.
Defensive Tackle 99 Jordan Thompson 6’3, 290 Jr.
Defensive Tackle 1 Tyler Lancaster 6’4, 315 Sr.
**Defensive End 91 Sam Miller 6’3, 261 Fr.
Will Linebacker 10 Brett Walsh 6’1, 220 Sr.
*** Mike Linebacker 42 Paddy Fisher 6’4, 250 Fr.
*Sam Linebacker 32 Nate Hall 6’2, 230 Jr.
Cornerback 24 Montre Hartage 6’0, 195 Jr.
Cornerback 12 Alonzo Mayo 5’11, 188 Soph.
*Safety 21 Kyle Quiero 6’3, 220 Sr.
*Safety 16 Godwin Igwebuike 6’0, 212 Sr.

*All-Big Ten

**Freshman All American

 2017 Defensive Results

Score 19.8 ppg Big Ten-5th
Rush 111.2 Big Ten-4th (10th in the nation)
Pass 247 Big Ten-14th
Total 358 Big Ten-9th
QB Sacks 30 Big Ten-6th
Tackles for Loss 88 Big Ten-3rd
3rd Down 37.5% Big Ten-9th
Red-Zone 71.05% Big Ten-1st (7th in the Nation)

Top Performers

Tackles Paddy Fisher 110, Big Ten-4th
QB Sacks Joe Gaziano 8, Big Ten-1st
Interceptions Kyle Quiero 4, Big Ten-3rd
Tackles for Loss Nate Hall 16.5, Big Ten-2nd (16th in nation)

Special Teams

Kicker Charlie Kuhbander and punter Hunter Niswander are upper-level in the Big Ten. Its return game is not elite by any stretch of the imagination.

Kicker Charlie Kuhbander 12/14 FG
Punter Hunter Niswander 42.14 per
Kick Returner Riley Lees 20.8
Punt Returner Riley Lees 9.8

What does all this mean?

Northwestern is an good football team. How good? Not sure as it played in the lesser division within its conference. The Wildcats won close games and is extremely well coached on both sides of the football. But in bowl games, the “Care Meter” is an important as X’s and O’s.

Stay tuned for the next post which will provide some comparative data between Northwestern and Kentucky’s 2017 opponents.

Lonnie Johnson makes #SCTop10-worthy shot in Nashville

Who says the Music City Bowl is just for football?

Tonight, Kentucky cornerback Lonnie Johnson drilled a ridiculous shot worthy of the SportsCenter Top 10 plays of the night.

Check it out:

Does Coach Cal have any open scholarships? He might want to give Johnson a call.

Mike Edwards Can’t Stop Laughing in the Final Practice Notes of the 2017 Season


It feels like the 2017 Kentucky football season just kicked off, yet today was the team’s final practice of the season.  Out of the cold at Vanderbilt’s indoor football facility, the Cats were having fun ahead of the Music City Bowl match-up with Northwestern (except for Mike Edwards).

—  Honey Funny Badger.  Kentucky was completely obliterated by Northwestern in last night’s hot chicken eating contest.  Even though it was a long shot from the get go, Mike Edwards made sure Kentucky could not win.  The UK safety ate just three pieces of chicken in the time allotted and his teammates have not let him forget.

“First of all, everybody was thinking it was wings,” Edwards defended himself.  “I thought it was going to be regular wings, but it was like breaded chicken fingers and it was hot and spicy with a lot of meat.  So, I’m laughing and stuff and I saw the dudes from Northwestern already had like ten and I was on one.  I was like, it’s over with.”

Nashville hot chicken is one tricky beast, one I intend to tangle with alongside Freddie Maggard before we depart from the Music City.

—  The Best and Worst Singers.  Matt House did not hesitate to throw his fellow assistant coaches under the bus.  Tasked to karaoke for the crowd, the defensive coordinator said Dean Hood had the best pipes, while Steve Clinkscale had the worst.

—  Filling in for Ware.  Without Ware this Friday, Josh Paschal will receive most of the workload.  Kengera Daniel will relieve Paschal, as well as Boogie Watson.  Even though Watson primarily plays the other outside linebacker position, he can play just about anywhere on Kentucky’s defense.

“On third down he can get into the boundary too,” House said.  “Boogie’s a kid that’s really done a good job of being that utility guy and embracing it.”

Boogie can be ready to roll, but Paschal will carry most of the responsibility.  Courtney Love is confident the true freshman can handle it.

“He’s got a guy behind him that’s gonna play some great football, Josh Paschal.  Denzil has helped mentor him and help him become the player he wants to be.  I think it’s going to work out really well.”

Love added that it isn’t all about Paschal, “We all have to step up.”  See everything Love had to say:

—  “Positive Anxiousness.”  That’s the best way House could describe the vibe around the team.  The Cats are having fun, they’ve finished their bowl prep and now they’re ready to lay it all on the line.

—  Containing Justin Jackson.  Northwestern’s offense runs through perennial All-Big Ten second teamer Justin Jackson.  A consistent threat, he’s never been the conference’s flashiest back, but he’s one weapon that can quickly derail Kentucky’s hopes for a postseason victory.

“He runs really hard.  You’re not a four-time 1,000-yard rusher without being really talented,” House said.  “He’s a guy that we’re going to have to keep great leverage on.  We’re going to have to tackle.  He’s a really patient runner.  It’ll be a challenge.”

Mixed Signals Surround Denzil Ware at UK Bowl Practice

A day after Mark Stoops gave an uncertain statement about Denzil Ware’s future at Kentucky, the redshirt junior outside linebacker participated in practice.

Yesterday Stoops announced that Ware is suspended from playing in the Music City Bowl for a violation of team rules.  When asked about Ware’s future at Kentucky, Stoops responded, “no further comment on that.”  Despite the murky forecast, all appeared to be fine between the head coach and Ware prior to today’s final bowl practice.


Ware’s presence at practice could be seen as a positive, until the post-practice interview session.

Benny Snell fielded questions for about three minutes.  At the conclusion of the questioning from reporters, Snell made a statement to support Ware.

“I got one more thing.  For Denzil Ware, a lot of negativity is coming and I would like to say there’s no Benny Snell mentality without Denzil Ware.  He’s done a lot of great things for me.  I’ve learned too many things from him.  Negativity and all that, that’s just not needed.  That man’s a great man and I hope to see him go to the next level one day.”

Snell’s words felt like a grateful send-off from a teammate.  Only time will tell if we’ve seen the last of Denzil Ware in a Kentucky uniform.

WATCH: Kentucky performs “We’re Gonna Kick That Ass on Friday Night”

WATCH: Kentucky performs “We’re Gonna Kick That Ass on Friday Night”

Earlier today, I shared some clips of Kentucky’s original song we’re affectionately calling “We’re Gonna Kick That Ass on Friday Night” from last night’s Songwriting Contest, but KyWildcatsTV just released a much better video of the performance that deserves a few minutes of your time:

I know the winner was determined by an audience poll, but I demand a recount at Nissan Stadium Friday night.

How Northwestern Compares to Kentucky’s Regular Season Opponents

NU Sports

To describe Kentucky’s Music City Bowl opponent, coaches will use words like “fundamental” and “sound” while the pundits will simply chalk them up as “boring.”  It’s easy to generalize 9-3 Northwestern, but if you compare their style to what UK has seen in the 2017 regular season, it paints a much clearer picture.

Defensive coordinator Matt House used all of the basic coach-speak words to describe the Wildcats’ offense.

“I think they do a really good job of execution,” House said last week.  “I mean shoot, the back (Justin Jackson) is a tremendous player.  Obviously, he’s in the top ten of the Big 10 all-time rushing yards, and I think they do a really good job of execution.”

But we already knew they had a good running back.  Do they actually look like anything we’ve seen before?

“They’re kind of a combination of some of the spread teams we’ve seen: a little bit of Ole Miss, a little bit of Southern Miss.  There’s some parts of Tennessee’s eleven, so there’s some similarities.”

That’s encouraging.  Kentucky won two out of those three games, and should’ve made it a clean sweep.

Statistically, Northwestern’s balanced offense does not jump off the page, until you look at Justin Jackson’s career.  He’s rushed for more than 1,000 yards for four consecutive seasons, but this year’s stats are the worst in his four years.  He has 1,154 yards, almost 200 less than Benny Snell, on 4.5 yards per carry and just 9 touchdowns, half of the 18 Snell scored in 2017.

Jackson’s one of the best backs in the Big 10, but Northwestern’s rushing offense is so-so.  Like the rest of their numbers, when you compare the output to where they would stand in the SEC, it’s just a whole lot of “meh.”

Northwestern Offense vs. SEC
Stat NU Total Big 10 Rank SEC Rank
Scoring Offense 29.7 4 9
Rushing Offense 160 8 9
RB YPG 96.1 3 4
Passing Offense 244.3 5 3
Total Offense 405 4 8
3rd Down 35.50% 8 13

It’s a different story on defense.  By the numbers, Northwestern’s rush defense is better than Georgia’s. However, they don’t look like an SEC defense.  Instead of playing multiple schemes, they stick to a base 4-3 look most of the time.

They’re more of a four-man scheme, probably more than any we’ve seen,” Eddie Gran said.  “But they will jump into a three-man scheme when we get into third down.  They’re just big and they do a great job with their hands.  They understand leverage.  It’s a good football team.”

They won’t try to trick Kentucky.  They’ll play a base defense and fight to win one-on-one match-ups.  In the Big 10 it worked well enough to take Wisconsin down to the wire by holding a Top 25 rushing offense to just 109 yards.

Northwestern Defense vs. SEC
Stat NU Total Big 10 Rank SEC Rank
Scoring Defense 19.8 5 5
Rushing Defense 111.2 4 2
Passing Defense 247.6 14 13
Total Defense 358.8 9 7
Third Down 37.50% 9 9
Sacks (TFLs) 30 (88) 6 (3) T-6 (2)
Turnover Margin 5 2 T-4

With a defense that looks like Vanderbilt and offense that compares to three teams Kentucky took to the wire, the Music City Bowl will be decided by one-on-one match-ups.  This will not be a battle of schematic masterminds making moves from behind behind a placard. Whoever wins the individual battles on the field will leave Nissan Stadium victorious.

WATCH: Benny Snell, Kash Daniel and UK players perform original song

WATCH: Benny Snell, Kash Daniel and UK players perform original song

Part of last night’s official bowl welcome party was a songwriting contest in which five players from each team worked with a local musician to put together an original song about the Music City Bowl. Kentucky was represented by Kash Daniel, Danny Clark, Greg Hart, Kayaune Ross, and budding rapper Benny Snell, who released a few songs over the past year. Check out their song below, which included lyrics such:

  • “We got loose, we got Juice” (Nice nod to Garrett Johnson)
  • “With attitude, toughness, discipline, and pride, we’re gonna kick that ass on Friday night” (Err, afternoon)
  • “We’re gonna show them who the real Wildcats are, and after we win, we’re headed straight to the bar”

Some video from UK Football’s Instagram:

LEX18: | Continuous News and StormTracker Weather

The Courier-Journal’s Jon Hale:

And finally, the Herald-Leader:

It’s no “We Believe” by Marcus McClinton, but not bad. Unfortunately, Northwestern had more fans in the Wildhorse Saloon, so Kentucky lost the audience poll that determined the contest. You could really tell it was rigged once the Kentucky coaches, who sang “Friends in Low Places” by Garth Brooks, also lost to Northwestern’s coaches, who sang “Hold On” by Wilson Phillips.

Hopefully Kentucky takes care of business when it actually matters on Friday afternoon.