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Northwestern to play Kentucky in 2017 Music City Bowl

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The purple Wildcats (9-3, 7-2 Big Ten) and blue Wildcats (7-5, 4-4 SEC) will face off in Nashville.

NCAA Football: Iowa at Northwestern David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

The Northwestern Wildcats will play the Kentucky Wildcats in the 2017 Music City Bowl in Nashville, Tennessee. The game will kick off at 3:30 p.m. CT on Friday, December 29.

The Tennessean was the first to report.

Northwestern got out to a slow start in 2017, getting blown out by Duke and falling to Wisconsin and Penn State to begin Big Ten play. At 2-3 (0-2), it seemed like the Wildcats were headed for another average season. However, coach Pat Fitzgerald and his team have rattled off seven straight victories since then, including an FBS record three straight overtime wins.

Kentucky started the year 5-1 but has faltered down the stretch, losing four of its last six. UK has ugly losses against Mississippi State (45-7), Georgia (42-13), and Louisville (44-17).

S&P+ Comparison

Category Northwestern Kentucky
Category Northwestern Kentucky
S&P+ 43 94
Offensive S&P+ 82 68
Defensive S&P+ 24 102
Special Teams S&P+ 69 24

All of the Big Ten bowl games are set. Here’s the lineup: