After an up-and-down, COVID-infected, SEC-only 2020 football schedule, the Kentucky Wildcats find themselves headed to the 2021 TaxSlayer Gator Bowl this weekend. The 4-6 Wildcats will take on the 8-3 NC State Wolfpack.
Playing a conference-only schedule certainly played a role in Kentucky’s first sub-.500 season since 2015. Even so, the Cats were just a few plays from a winning record. And now, they find themselves looking to win their third consecutive bowl game under Mark Stoops.
It is important to note that four of Kentucky’s six losses were to teams that finished in the top eight of the College Football Playoff ranking. Falling to the likes of Alabama, Georgia, Florida, and Auburn is nothing to scoff at, and there were certainly encouraging moments for the Cats throughout the season.
The Wolfpack only lost to ranked teams as well, including Miami, North Carolina, and Virginia Tech (who Kentucky beat in the Belk Bowl last year). Their most notable wins came against Liberty, Pitt, and the shell of a team formerly known as Florida State. NC State has a strong passing attack, a balanced and deep running game, and the ACC’s leading tackler in Payton Wilson.
As far as we know, both teams will have mostly complete rosters at kickoff on Saturday. The Wildcats will look to add to their two game bowl winning streak, and the Wolfpack will be looking to bounce back from the loss in their most recent bowl game, the 2018 Gator Bowl.
So will the Wildcats be able to wrap the year up with a win? Or will this brutal season end with a loss at the hands of the Wolfpack?
Who will win the Gator Bowl?
This poll is closed
NC State Wolfpack