It’s been five weeks since Kentucky’s last football game, but it’s felt more like ten. Approximately eleventy hundred thousand words have been written about the game on this website. Frankly, we’re starting to run out of stuff to say. Thankfully, we made it. Gameday is finally here.
Just three hours from kickoff, here’s just about everything you need to know about the TaxSlayer Bowl.
The KSR Pregame Show is on NOW
Even though it used to be called the Gator bowl, the Gator used for the tailgate shows at Commonwealth Stadium did not make the trip. You can still listen to the radio show by turning your radio dial to 630 WLAP or you can stream here.
Don’t Miss the Cat Walk
Get to Gate 1 at 8:45*. Seriously, you can’t miss it. If you can’t make it, check out our Facebook LIVE. As the kids say, it’s going to be LIT.
* They have never, ever been on time. Be prepared for something closer to 9:00.
What’s your favorite colors BBN?
The Seniors’ Last Game
Seeing Jojo Kemp’s locker for the final time just gave me all the feels. A group that has endured plenty of highs and lows (but mostly lows) gets to take the field one more time wearing Kentucky blue and white. I’m going to miss them, especially Jojo. Kemp said he was going to change the game, “Why not Kentucky? Why not us?” He can accomplish that mission today with a win. Godspeed.
There are a few reasons why you should be at EverBank early. To start, getting through security will likely be a pain in the butt. Here are a few things you should be aware of:
- Clear bag policy. No purses are allowed. You can carry a hand-sized clutch along with a clear gallon-sized bag, available at fan information booths around Jacksonville.
- Metal detectors. Do NOT try to take a metal flask into the game. It will be seized. Besides, they serve beer here.
- For more details on restricted items, click here.
If you don’t have a parking pass and need help getting to the stadium, there are shuttle fares from downtown ($7) and suburban lots ($12), pictured below, with more information here.
If you still are thinking, “I’m just going o get to the stadium at 11:00.” THINK AGAIN. There will be a military flyover at 10:30. You can’t miss something that cool.
Marcus McClinton will be in the building today. I doubt they’ll give him a microphone entering the 4th quarter, so they gave him one at last night’s pep rally. We didn’t get any “Yeeeeeeeah’s” but he did give us some Go Big Blue’s.
– Kentucky Athletics (@UKAthletics) December 30, 2016
The pep rally was an unbelievable turnout by the BBN. It was incredible seeing so many fans. You people are crazy.
The Final Bowl Outing
The pep rally was the highlight for many fans, but this was probably a bigger highlight for the players.
What UK Must Do to Win
1. Take Care of the Football
It’s been the difference-maker for Kentucky all year. When they gave the ball to the other team, they either lost or barely squeaked by with a win. When they took advantage of turnover opportunities, they beat a Heisman Trophy winner on the road. Against a team that grinds offensively, you can’t afford to give them extra possessions.
2. Don’t Try to Fight Fire with Fire
Kentucky has the 16th-best rushing attack in the country and is the only power five team with two 1,000-yard rushers, but today’s game can not be won on the ground. Let Georgia Tech stick to their triple option. Kentucky needs to run the ball well, especially if they get a lead, but this game will be won through the air.
UK’s offensive line is excellent at protecting Stephen Johnson. Georgia Tach’s defense is not good at rushing the passer. Johnson doesn’t need to be as great as he was against Louisville, but I think he certainly can be. It only takes a few homeruns to get the Jackets on their heels and I believe this defense has that, and more.
The defense got a month to prepare for the flex-bone’s misdirection. They cannot let the moment get too big for them. If discipline takes precedence over emotion, they should not have trouble containing Georgia Tech. However, that’s much easier said than done.
Expect to see a high-scoring game. The team with the best quarterback play should win the game. That being said, it will probably be a 13-10 final, just out of spite. Regardless, you can’t not feel good about the Cats. With a blue stadium, if UK captures momentum they can ride it into the offseason with their eighth win of 2016.