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Wildcats win 2019 Citrus Bowl - Kentucky

From CBS Sports


The Wildcats were a bet to lose this game.

The 2018 Kentucky Wildcats finished their case to be known as the best team in program history with an outstanding performance in the 2019 Citrus Bowl, beating Penn State 27-24 to reach 10 wins for the first time since 1977. This year's team exceeded all expectations, reaching the top 10 in the weekly AP Top 25 poll and snapping multiple droughts and losing streaks along the way. Thanks to memorable performances from its two beloved stars, running back Benny Snell and linebacker Josh Allen, Kentucky also won its first bowl game since 2008.


Snell became the program's all-time leading rusher on a touchdown run in the second half that extended No. 14 Kentucky's lead over No. 12 Penn State to 27-7. He told ESPN's Laura Rutledge after the game that he knew he was 3-4 yards short of the mark, and he approached the coaches on the sideline to give him the opportunity. Once they gave the nod, Snell hit the field, powered up the middle on a 12-yard score and fell to his knees in the end zone.


"We just started from the beginning of the season. We came into the season as underdogs, and bond that we created as a team, it's a brotherhood, it's deeper than football. I'm proud of all my guys," Snell said. "We're legends. We're all legends in our own way, we're all special."


Snell finished the game with 144 rushing yards and two scores on 26 attempts, and when Kentucky needed to ice the game after Penn State charged back and cut the lead to three points in the fourth quarter, everyone in the stadium knew who was getting the ball.

Allen, who spent much of the time since the end of the regular season on the award circuit where he was widely recognized as the defensive player of the year, was also a superstar in this game. As we've seen so many other top NFL Draft picks sit the bowl season out, Allen's performance (three sacks, three tackles for loss and a blocked field goal) stands out as the rare example of a potential top-five pick not only playing but increasing the excitement for what he can bring to a franchise at the next level.

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