It’s finally the big day. After a strange yet successful regular season, the No. 21 Northwestern Wildcats (9-3, 7-2 B1G) look for their 10th win against the Kentucky Wildcats (7-5, 4-4 SEC) in the Music City Bowl. It’s not only a battle of Wildcats but a battle of teams without extensive bowl histories. This will be Northwestern’s 14th postseason appearance with a rough 3-10 all time record in bowls, while Kentucky will be making its 17th bowl appearance with a slightly better 8-8 record. Bizarrely, this will be Kentucky’s 5th trip to Nashville, as they’ve played in the Music City Bowl five times since 1999.
Northwestern has made three straight bowls for the first time since making five straight from 2008-12 and Kentucky has made back to back bowl games for the first time since 2009-10.
As far as the game goes, it’ll be a battle of star running backs as both Justin Jackson and Benny Snell rushed for over 1,000 yards this season. But all the focus will be on Jackson as he plays his last game in Northwestern purple. A Northwestern victory secures the purple Wildcats their third 10-win season in six years and a bowl winning streak for the first time ever. A Kentucky victory gives the blue Wildcats an 8-win season for the first time since 2007 and only the third time since winning 9 games in 1984.
- Three things to know about Kentucky
- What's at stake in the Music City Bowl for Northwestern?
- Why Northwestern will/won’t beat Kentucky
- Three matchups to watch
- Breaking down which team has the edge on paper
- Is Kentucky football good?
Game Time: 3:30 p.m. CT
Mobile: WatchESPN app
Betting Line: Northwestern -7.5, over/under 51