EditorsNote: Clarifies timing of Penn State’s late scoring run; corrects Snell’s carries & yards in final drive; corrects interception to third quarter
No. 14 Kentucky reached 10 wins for only the third time in program history with a 27-24 win Tuesday over No. 12 Penn State in the VRBO Citrus Bowl at Orlando, Fla.
Benny Snell Jr. rushed for 144 yards on 26 carries and scored two touchdowns to pace the Wildcats (10-3). Receiver Lynn Bowden ran a punt back 58 yards for a score late in the first period and also caught five passes for 84 yards.
Trace McSorley completed 17 of 33 passes for 246 yards and two touchdowns against one interception for Penn State (9-4). McSorley also rushed the ball 19 times for 75 yards and a touchdown while limping on a reported broken foot.
Snell’s 12-yard scoring run late in the third period broke Kentucky’s all-time rushing record and gave the Wildcats a 27-7 lead. Snell (3,873) surpassed the mark set by Sonny Collins (3,835 yards from 1972-75).
The Nittany Lions rallied behind star McSorley despite his injured foot. Penn State scored 17 straight points in the fourth quarter as McSorley rushed for a 1-yard score and tossed an 18-yard scoring pass to Pat Freiermuth in the quarter’s first six minutes.
Jake Pinegar tacked on a 32-yard field goal to pull Penn State within 27-24 with 4:12 to play.
But Snell put the Wildcats on his back from there. He carried the ball eight straight times for 25 yards and two crucial first downs to end Penn State’s comeback hopes.
Bowden’s punt return gave Kentucky a 10-0 lead in the first quarter, then the Wildcats got TD runs of 2 and 12 yards from Snell in the third period, along with a 28-yard field goal by Miles Butler, to seemingly take control at 27-7.
Kentucky’s Josh Allen recorded three sacks and blocked a field goal to lead the defense, which sacked McSorley six times.
Penn State outgained Kentucky 410-297, piling up 246 yards through the air. But the Wildcats came up with the only significant turnover of the game — an interception by Lonnie Johnson Jr. deep in Kentucky territory in the third period to thwart a Nittany Lions’ scoring attempt.
Kentucky quarterback Terry Wilson threw 15 times, completing nine for 121 yards. He also ran 10 times for 29 yards.
Darius West led the Kentucky defense with 10 tackles, three of them solo, and Kash Daniel had two tackles for loss as part of his eight tackles.
—Field Level Media