JACKSONVILLE, Fla.- Both Kentucky and Georgia Tech are riding waves of momentum, including big wins over arch-rivals, into their December 31 TaxSlayer Bowl matchup at EverBank Field.
Kentucky (7-5) upset Louisville in their regular season finale while Georgia Tech (8-4) knocked off Georgia.
“We are fortunate to win five out of our last seven and have a big victory over our arch-rival to propel us into this game.” Kentucky coach Mark Stoops said in a joint press appearance in Jacksonville Thursday.
"It is great for the seniors, fans and alumni and everybody. I think we have got 19 years in before missing last year and it was unusual,” says Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson. “It is great to be back and we are excited to be in Jacksonville where we have a lot of alumni.”
Neither team appeared in a bowl game last season.
This game marks the 20th all-time meeting between Kentucky and Georgia Tech but the last time they met was in 1960. Georgia Tech leads the series, 11-7-1.
Both coaches plan to use this time in Florida to help in recruiting.
“It is only the third time in the history of our program we have played a bowl game in Florida,” says Stoops.
“For recruiting it only helps. Every school in the country has to come to Florida to recruit to some extent. We have had some good success here and hope to continue.”
“Any time you play in the footprint of where you recruit it is certainly a positive,” Johnson says.
The 72nd Annual TaxSlayer Bowl will be played on Dec. 31, 2016 at 11 a.m. at EverBank Field and will be nationally televised on ESPN. Tickets and Bowl information are available online at www.taxslayerbowl.com.