Music City Bowl settles on a familiar matchup

Sunday, December 6, 2009 at 7:51pm
Staff reports

The matchup will be a rematch.

The Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl announced Sunday that Kentucky and Clemson will meet in this year’s contest.

The same two teams played in the 2006 Music City Bowl. Kentucky won that one 28-20.

Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. (CST) on Dec. 27. ESPN will televise the game live.

“We're excited to welcome back the teams and fans of Kentucky and Clemson, and we look forward to having them play in the Bowl's first ever primetime game,” Scott Ramsey, Bowl president and CEO said. “We anticipate this holiday weekend will be a busy time for local hotels, businesses and entertainment attractions, as well as a great showcase for our city on ESPN.”

It will be the third appearance in four years for Kentucky, who also defeated Florida State 35-28 in 2007.

The Wildcats have been a big draw. The last two times UK participated attendance exceeded 68,000 capped by the 68,661 on hand in 2007. Only one other time since 2002 has the crowd even reached 60,000.

“The Bowl is thrilled to once again host the student-athletes, administrators and fans from the University of Kentucky and Clemson University,” Christine Karbowiak, Bowl chair said. “Music City has proved to be a great destination for both teams, and we welcome both teams to our first primetime game in Nashville.”

Kentucky (7-5) has earned a bowl invitation for the fourth consecutive year – a first in its program history.

Sophomore quarterback/receiver Randall Cobb is second in the SEC in touchdowns, third in all-purpose yards and third in punt return average.

“We're honored to be invited to the Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl,” said Mitch Barnhart, Kentucky director of athletics. “I congratulate Coach Rich Brooks and our senior class for an historic accomplishment in earning a fourth-consecutive bowl game. The city and Bowl staff treats the teams and fans in first-class fashion and we're privileged to be their guests. Nashville is a great place to visit as a nationally renowned entertainment center. Our experiences in previous trips bring back wonderful memories.”

Clemson (8-5) won the Atlantic Coast Conference’s Atlantic Division and played in the conference championship game Saturday – a 39-34 loss to Georgia Tech.

Running back C.J. Spiller is the only player in the Football Bowl Subdivision who has scored a touchdown in every game this season and is considered a Heisman Trophy contender. He currently holds or shares 31 school records, and his 50 career touchdowns are second only to Tim Tebow’s 56.

“We were treated very well at the Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl in 2006 and are looking forward to returning to Nashville, a great city,” Clemson Athletic Director Terry Don Phillips said. “Kentucky has had a terrific season and has been an outstanding program under Coach Rich Brooks. I am sure it will be a great game.”