Kentucky to face Northwestern in Music City Bowl

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The Wildcats are headed back to Nashville.

Kentucky has accepted a bid to play in the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl and will take on Northwestern.

The game is scheduled to be played at 3:30 p.m. CST on Dec. 29 at Nissan Stadium in Nashville and will be broadcast on ESPN. The Music City Bowl has been played continuously since its founding in 1998, sharing an affiliation with the Southeastern Conference ever since. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Music City Bowl.

The bowl appearance is the second in a row for the Wildcats after they reached the TaxSlayer Bowl a season ago. It is Kentucky’s 17th bowl appearance all time and the Wildcats own a record of 8-8 in those games.

This will mark UK’s fifth appearance in the Music City Bowl, the most of any team in the history of the bowl. UK has a 2-2 record in the bowl, scoring memorable wins over Clemson and Florida State in 2006 and 2007.

Kentucky will enter the Music City Bowl with a record of 7-5. UK is one of two teams the country to tie or improve its win total from the previous year in each of the last five seasons, which coincides with Stoops’ tenure in Lexington.

The Wildcats also went 4-4 in SEC, giving them a .500 record in conference play in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 1998-99. UK has had success away from home this season, claiming road victories over Southern Mississippi, South Carolina and Vanderbilt.

Northwestern carries a record of 9-3 (7-2 Big Ten) into the Music City Bowl. The Wildcats closed the season as one of the hottest teams in the country, winning seven straight games to finish No. 21 in the final College Football Playoff rankings. Northwestern has reached bowl games in three straight seasons and eight of the last 10 under coach Pat Fitzgerald.