The Music City Bowl was full of controversy, injuries and ejections.
With his team trailing 24-23 with less than a minute to play, Mark Stoops made a decision to keep the offense on the field to attempt a two-point conversion, rather than taking the PAT to force overtime.
The Music City Bowl was marred by controversy and horrendous officiating. United Kingdom fell just short and lost to Northwestern 24-23. He finished his career 10th among the NCAA's leading rushers with 5,440 yards.
In the end, Northwestern was able to hold off a late Kentucky charge and got a huge stop on a two-point conversion in the final seconds to seal a 24-23 victory.
Quarterback Clayton Thorson has made it hard for opposing defenses to load the box in an effort to stop Jackson by completing 258 of 426 passes for 2,809 yards and 15 TDs. Pascal replaced the suspended defensive lineman Denzil Ware in the starting lineup.
How can you tune in to the 2017 Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl between Kentucky and Northwestern? Kayaune Ross was unable to haul a sideline pass and Richardson allowed a third-down pass to bounce off his shoulder pads. United Kingdom held getting the ball back with excellent field position with about two minutes to go.
Northwestern would drive again.
The start of the second quarter was a mixed bag for Northwestern. But Thorson, in his 38th career start, immediately grabbed at his right knee. He is one of only two Big Ten players along with Wisconsin great Ron Dayne to run for at least 1,000 in four straight seasons. Kentucky lost running back Benny Snell Jr.to an ejection for contact with an official early in the second quarter, and Northwestern lost leading tackler and linebacker Paddy Fisher before halftime when he was ejected for targeting.
"We talked about that", Fitzgerald said Wednesday. Replays showed Snell perhaps pushing Coyte's hands away as he got up.
On UK's next possession, the offense was moving the ball. Johnson then found Richardson for 14 yards down to the 3. Jeremy Larkin took a handoff and fired across the field to Thorson, who made the 24-yard catch before getting tackled by linebacker Jordan Jones. Prior to Alviti taking the field, Northwestern was down 7-3.
Northwestern got the ball first in the second half and marched into United Kingdom territory. He was carted off the field and replaced by senior Matt Alviti. Northwestern failed to convert on fourth down and Kentucky took over. It took only four plays for Kentucky to find the end zone when quarterback Stephen Johnson scored from nine yards out with 37 seconds to go. "The doctors wouldn't let him play if he was injured and I think Stephen knows the difference between pain and injury and believe me, he's pushed it to the limit as far as any player I've been around, in particular a quarterback".
Kentucky lost its best player to an even more questionable disqualification. However, UK shut it down from there as Northwestern settles for a 33 yard field goal from Charlie Kubander.
The fourth quarter of the Music City Bowl began with dueling punts. On the drive, Sihiem King rushed for 12 yards. However, an ill-timed throw by Johnson resulted in a pick-six for Northwestern. United Kingdom cutting the deficit to 17-14.
To Kentucky's credit, the Wildcats would rebound and put together a drive that would be capped by an Austin MacGinnis 48-yard field goal to pull within seven.