This will mark Kentucky’s fifth straight bowl appearance under Mark Stoops, with the Wildcats winning their last two against Penn State and Virginia Tech, respectively.
Kentucky will look to continue their bowl winning streak, and build some momentum heading into next season if they can snag a win against the Wolfpack.
This will mark Kentucky’s second appearance in the Gator Bowl under Stoops, as they faced off against Georgia Tech in 2016, Stoops’ first bowl game at Kentucky.
Here is how Twitter reacted to the announcement of the Wildcats vs the Wolfpack:
Kentucky vs. NC State in Gator Bowl, sources told @Stadium— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) December 20, 2020
Excited to have @PackFootball and @UKFootball returning to Jacksonville for this year's TaxSlayer Gator Bowl on January 2, 2021 at Noon #TaxSlayerGatorBowl #HTT #BBN #BowlSeason— TaxSlayer Gator Bowl (@taxslayerbowl) December 20, 2020
The weird year where the Cats go 4-6 and get to the Gator. https://t.co/SJ97cEsoMY— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_ATH) December 20, 2020
Kentucky hasn't played NC State in football or men's basketball since 1986. This rocks.— Justin Rowland (@RowlandRIVALS) December 20, 2020
NC State offensive coordinator Tim Beck went to Cardinal Mooney with Mark Stoops and Vince Marrow.— Jon Hale (@JonHale_CJ) December 20, 2020
Once Kentucky confirms the Gator Bowl, January 2nd will be a UK football/basketball day.— Shawn Smith (@gbbcountry) December 20, 2020
Kentucky football vs NC State in the Gator Bowl at Noon.
Kentucky basketball vs Mississippi State at 6 p.m.
Awesome opportunity for Kentucky beat a ranked team and end the season on a high note.— All Things Kentucky (@BBNWonka) December 20, 2020
Kentucky getting a bowl game at 4-6 is a really nice gesture, especially given that they've opted out of fielding a basketball team this year.— RedditCFB (@RedditCFB) December 20, 2020
Remember that 3-3-5 that Mississippi State used to fluster the hell out of Kentucky. NC State runs a very similar scheme.— Adam Luckett (@AdamLuckettKSR) December 20, 2020
I get it. 2020 bowl season is different. But redshirt seniors at Kentucky have gone to: Gator, Music City, Citrus, Belk, and Gator Bowl. Stoops has done great work in Lexington.— Freddie Maggard (@FredMaggard606) December 20, 2020
Bowl game on my birthday.. you know how I’m feelin. https://t.co/qy5dz3rbbD— Big Snacc (@phil_hoskins) December 20, 2020
Kentucky opens as a 3 point favorite against 8-3 NC State @CircaSports— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) December 20, 2020
NC State has only won nine games in a season three times in four years once.— Rob McLamb (@RobMcLamb) December 20, 2020
The Wolfpack has a chance to do it a second time in program history.
2020: 8-3* (Gator Bowl versus Kentucky on 1/2/21)
Kentucky has went to FIVE straight bowl games under Mark Stoops:— Cats Coverage (@CatsCoverage_) December 20, 2020
2016: Gator Bowl
2017: Music City
2019: Citrus Bowl
2019: Belk Bowl
2021: Gator Bowl
Kickoff is scheduled for noon ET at TIAA Bank Field, with @ESPN and the ESPN App carrying the national television broadcast.— Kentucky Athletics (@UKAthletics) December 20, 2020
All fans wishing to attend the Gator Bowl, including STH and @UK_KFund members, should purchase their tickets directly through https://t.co/2zGpmLWJPe.
UK Athletics will not be taking requests and selling tickets through @UKTix and @UK_KFund this year. Due to COVID-19 restrictions and stadium capacity restrictions, ticket availability and fan attendance protocols may be limited.— Kentucky Athletics (@UKAthletics) December 20, 2020
UK officially announces it's going to the Gator Bowl to face NC State on Jan. 2. Mark Stoops: "It’s been a very trying year for all of us and our team is ready to move forward with a fifth straight bowl game." It will be the 3rd time UK has faced the Wolfpack, 1st time since 1970— Tyler Greever (@Tyler_Greever) December 20, 2020
Of all the bowl possibilities UK had coming into the day, the Gator Bowl vs. NC State was at or near the top of best-case scenarios. A quality bowl against a very beatable top-25 team (UK is actually favored in early lines).— Jason Marcum (@marcum89) December 20, 2020
Five straight bowl games for Kentucky football ties a record. Five straight bowl games for Mark Stoops as head coach at Kentucky is a record. First Cats coach to do it.https://t.co/DqOsonxEiL— ESPN Radio Lexington (@ESPNRadioLex) December 20, 2020
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