There was a lot of bad blood between these two teams that I don’t think anyone expected to see when the bowl schedule was set.
Earlier in the week, Virginia Tech players confronted Lynn Bowden at an event. .Then, a scuffle broke out during pregame warmups today that saw punches thrown by both sides.
You could tell emotions were high as soon as this one kicked off as each team received early unsportsmanlike penalties.
The first half started to get out of hand, but Kentucky stepped up and made big plays late to go into halftime trailing 17-14.
In the second half, each team made big plays as this one turned into more of a shootout rather than the defensive battle we expected.
Kentucky was down 6 with the ball in Bowden’s hands and he drove the Cats 85 yards down the field, finishing the drive with a TD pass with 15 seconds remaining to take the lead.
The defense would force a fumble, and a scoop and score as time expired extended the Cats’ lead as they win it 37-30 and win their 2nd straight bowl game.
What a coaching job by this staff, and what a season for the Cats!
Here is how Twitter reacted to the game:
BROUGHT IT TO BELK BOWL pic.twitter.com/mCNUSRT2sJ— Kentucky Football (@UKFootball) December 31, 2019
Lynn Bowden, his son, and Mark Stoops following Kentucky's thrilling 37-30 win over Virginia Tech in the Belk Bowl pic.twitter.com/xcnJPrOsVE— Tyler Thompson (@MrsTylerKSR) December 31, 2019
Imagine getting punched in the face on the field by a guy that’s about to run for 233 yards and throw the game winning touchdown against you https://t.co/18EKwqnY4J— Trilly Shelby, OBE (@TylerIAm) December 31, 2019
What a gutsy season by @UKCoachStoops' team. That performance in the bowl game summed it all up. Adversity. Chances to let go of the rope. But they refused to give in. Amazing!!! Congrats on a great year!!!#WeAreUK https://t.co/sCnk4ydypD— John Calipari (@UKCoachCalipari) December 31, 2019
Lynn Bowden Jr.— Mike Edwards (@M__Edwards7) December 31, 2019
that is all...
Lynn Bowden bites off a loose fingernail on the bench (I think) comes back in the game and rips off a 25-yard TD run first play, points at a VT defender on his way into the end zone and is probably lucky not to get a flag. Impressive, impressive drive for Kentucky.— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_ATH) December 31, 2019
Mark Stoops just became UK’s first .500 coach since 1951. Remember that when he isn’t in those coach top 25s this summer.— Adam Luckett (@AdamLuckettKSR) December 31, 2019
If you think fights are bad for sports, then you're missing out on one hell of a football game.— Nick Roush (@RoushKSR) December 31, 2019
I never understood how @UKFootball could continue to rush it so well despite everyone in the stadium knowing it’s all they are going to do.....until seeing this OLine size and Bowden’s speed in person.— Peter Burns (@PeterBurnsESPN) December 31, 2019
Mauling up front.
What a damn hit. Zach Johnson launched out of a cannon— Travis Graf (@Trav_Graf) December 31, 2019
Wanna see something REALLY scary? How about Kentucky's returning linebacker corps for next year. Holy Moly!— John Huang (@KYHuangs) December 31, 2019
Kentucky having (and utilizing) a bully back in Chris Rodriguez is a game changer moving forward. Really excited about his future as a Wildcat. Star in the making.— Jack Pilgrim (@JackPilgrimKSR) December 31, 2019
The Bowden double-motion decoy play there was a fantastic call by Eddie Gran. Everyone had their eyes on #1— Travis Graf (@Trav_Graf) December 31, 2019
Gotta feel good for Calvin Taylor getting a sack in his last game for Kentucky.— Justin Rowland (@RowlandRIVALS) December 31, 2019
Huge play to end the half. VT leads Kentucky, 17-14. Kentucky gets the ball to start the second half.— Shawn Smith (@gbbcountry) December 31, 2019
Made up for a missed targeting with a missed horse collar. Come on man.— Freddie Maggard (@FredMaggard610) December 31, 2019
Virginia Tech’s offense is keeping Kentucky off-balance. ‘Cats aren’t staying disciplined— Travis Graf (@Trav_Graf) December 31, 2019
Bud Foster's defense doesn't fall for shiny lures. Hard to fake out the disciplined bunch.— Nick Roush (@RoushKSR) December 31, 2019
Lynn Bowden's vision = elite.— TheCatsPause247 (@TheCatsPause247) December 31, 2019
OH MY GOD LYNN BOWDEN WHAT PLANET ARE YOU FROM— J. Kyle Mann (@jkylemann) December 31, 2019
I’m going to miss Lynn Bowden.— Chris Leach (@ChrisLeach_AN) December 31, 2019
Lynn Bowden rushing totals in 8 games as the starting QB:— Not Scott Charlton (@Scott_Charlton2) December 31, 2019
24 att 196 yds
17 att 99 yds
21 att 204 yds
26 att 114 yds
17 att 110 yds
11 att 129 yds
22 att 284 yds
34 att 233 yds
7.96 yards per carry
Lynn Bowden is a mix of Leveon Bell and Shai Gilgeous Alexander.— Jarrod Polson (@jpolson05) December 31, 2019
The Louisville basketball/ UK bowl game duo has been pretty damn awesome over the last year.— Jason Marcum (@marcum89) December 31, 2019
Lynn Bowden has passed Johnny Manziel for 2nd all-time on the single-season rushing yards by a SEC quarterback.— Lee K. Howard (@HowardWKYT) December 31, 2019
Officiating has been awful, yes. But Kentucky has been let down by their defense today in a huge way.— All Things Kentucky (@BBNWonka) December 31, 2019
That's how I will remember Josh Ali.— Justin Rowland (@RowlandRIVALS) December 31, 2019
Lynn Bowden THROWS the go-ahead TD with 15 seconds to go. Legend grows.— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_ATH) December 31, 2019
LYNN BOWDEN. WOW.— Donovan Hurt (@D_Hurt11) December 31, 2019
Man I love college football.— Tom Hart (@tom_hart) December 31, 2019
THATS ALL SHE WROTE. IM SO PROUD OF MY KENTUCKY BOYZ!!! THATS HOW WE ROCK— Mr SNELL YA LATER (@benny_snell) December 31, 2019
*** FINAL UPDATE ***— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_ATH) December 31, 2019
Most single-season rushing yards by a QB in SEC history:
1. Cam Newton 1,473
2. Lynn Bowden 1,468 ⬆️
3. Johnny Manziel 1,410 ⬇️
4. Nick Fitzgerald 1,375 ⬇️
Stop playing with Kentucky ‼️‼️ @LynnBowden_1 the— Lonnie Johnson jr. (@Lonnie30johnson) December 31, 2019
Lynn Bowden was emotional after winning his final game as a Kentucky Wildcat. pic.twitter.com/5X3M6z8MAx— Nick Roush (@RoushKSR) December 31, 2019