It’s official - Georgia Tech will travel to Jacksonville, Fla. to take on the Kentucky Wildcats in the TaxSlayer Bowl.
It is the Wildcats’ first bowl game since they participated in the BBVA Compass Bowl to conclude the 2010 season. This is the first bowl game for the Jackets since the 2014 Orange Bowl, after going 3-9 in 2015.
Kentucky has had an up-and-down season, but will come into the TaxSlayer Bowl with momentum after securing their signature victory on the road against Louisville to conclude the regular season.
However, at the end of the day, this is the Wildcats’ first bowl game in six years and only their sixteenth bowl appearance all-time. This is also a program that has not beaten Florida in their last 30 tries and has beaten Tennessee once since 1985.
But Kentucky fans are apparently pretty confident in their chances against the Yellow Jackets, as evidenced by this quote from popular Wildcats blog Kentucky Sports Radio:
“Georgia Tech isn’t the most attractive opponent. Using a month to prepare for the almost-extinct triple option doesn’t benefit the Cats in the long-term, however, there are positives. Their leading rusher Marcus Marshall decided to transfer just two days ago. Also, it brings joy to my heart knowing we will get to watch the Cats beat up a bunch of nerds for four hours on New Year’s Eve.”
According to Football Outsiders, Kentucky’s defense is ranked 84 in Defensive S&P+ and 107 in Rushing S&P+. We’ll see how the game turns out soon enough.
Georgia Tech will play the Wildcats for the first time since 1960. The Jackets own the all-time series 11-7-1. This will also be an opportunity for Tech to go 3-0 vs. the SEC this year, having beaten Vanderbilt and Georgia in the regular season.
The TaxSlayer Bowl kicks off at 11 a.m. ET on December 31 and will be televised on ESPN.