Cats hold off Wolfpack to take Gator Bowl

Cats hold off Wolfpack to take Gator Bowl
UK head coach and the Wildcats have now won three consecutive bowl games.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Kentucky’s defense came up with a pair of key fourth quarter interceptions to help the Wildcats hold off N.C. State, 23-21 on Saturday in Jacksonville at the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl.

UK’s rushing attack was also a key part of the Wildcats’ success. Running back A.J. Rose carried the ball 12 times in ringing up 148 yards and teammate Chris Rodriguez ran for 84 yards and a pair of touchdowns. The first Rodriguez score came in the second quarter from four yards out as Kentucky took a 13-0 lead to the lockerroom at intermission.

In the fourth quarter, with UK leading the Wolfpack, 13-7, Yusef Corker came up with one of three interceptions for the Cats and the pick set up a Matt Ruffalo field goal to lift Kentucky to a 16-7 advantage.

With just over three minutes left to play, Kentucky’s Jamin Davis caught a deflected pass for an interception. The turnover set up what would prove to be the game-winner. UK’s Rodriguez scampered 26 yards to spark the Cats to a 23-14 advantage. N.C. State marched down and scored a touchdown with just over a minute to go to create the game’s final count of 23-21.

Copyright 2020 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.