Kentucky was invited to the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl yesterday where they will take on No. 23 NC State in Jacksonville, FL on Jan. 2.
In preparation for this bowl invite, UK Head Coach Mark Stoops said the team has had really good practices lately and that he expects each player that is eligible to participate in the Gator Bowl.
“We’re good, we’ve been practicing…we’ve had two good practices the past two days,” Stoops said. “We’re at 100%.”
Once Kentucky fired offensive coordinator Eddie Gran and quarterbacks coach Darin Hinshaw, somebody further down the staff was going to have to be dealt with calling the plays in the bowl game. Fret not, as Stoops nominated tight end coach Vince Marrow to grab the offensive reigns, and he plans to throw A LOT to his coached position.
“He has been bringing a lot of energy and passion to practice…he makes it fun…you’ve definitely seen a lot more tight end passes for sure,” senior offensive lineman Luke Fortner said. “I think he’s gonna do a good job.”
“The first two bowl practices, you’d think it was just a 7-on-7 with the tight ends and quarterbacks,” UK coach Mark Stoops said.
Stoops is now the first head coach in UK history to lead the Cats to five consecutive bowl appearances, and this is the second of those five in which they played in the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl. Last time Kentucky was in Jacksonville for the event, they lost 33-18 to another ACC-foe Georgia Tech, and the UK coach is hoping for a better effort in this go-around.
“Hopefully we’ll play better…we want it to be a positive experience…there will be a balance of being their to reward players, and trying to win the game,” he said.
Scheduled to be on Jan. 2, the bowl game will be televised on ESPN at noon.