GAMEDAY College Football

Citrus Bowl: Kentucky 20, Iowa 17

(AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

By JOHN DENTON
Associated Press

ORLANDO, Fla. - Chris Rodriguez ran for a 6-yard touchdown with 1:48 to play, and No. 25 Kentucky rallied in the fourth quarter to defeat No. 17 Iowa 20-17 in the Citrus Bowl.

Kentucky was forced to rally after blowing a 10-point lead in the second half. Wan'Dale Robinson set up the winning score when he caught a 52-yard pass from Will Levis to get the Wildcats to the 1-yard line. Robinson, the game's MVP, finished with 10 catches for 170 yards, while Levis completed 17 of 28 passes for 233 yards and a touchdown.

DeAndre Square intercepted Iowa's Spencer Petras with 48 seconds to play to clinch the victory. Kentucky (10-3) won a fourth straight bowl game for the first time in school history and became the fourth Wildcats team to win at least 10 games.

Iowa (10-4), which rose to as high as No. 2 in the AP Top 25, saw its bowl win streak end at three games. The Hawkeyes stormed back from a 13-3 halftime deficit and led 17-13 after Petras' 36-yard touchdown pass to Sam LaPorta with 10:54 to play.

Iowa dominated Kentucky in the second half before the final drive, when the Wildcats drove 80 yards in eight plays. Rodriguez rushed for 107 yards and the go-ahead score, and he caught a short touchdown pass from Levis in the first half.

Iowa cornerback Jemari Harris appeared to have capped the win for the Hawkeyes when he picked off Levis with 3:59 to play. It was Iowa's school-record 25th interception of the season. The Hawkeyes also registered seven sacks.

But the Hawkeyes elected to punt on fourth-and-1 from their own 45 with 3:38 remaining, and the punt sailed into the end zone for a touchback, setting up Kentucky's game-winning drive.

The Hawkeyes came in with the nation's 123rd-ranked offense (297.5 yards per game) and having scored two offensive touchdowns in their previous three games. But Iowa eventually came alive behind Petras, who finished 19 of 30 for 211 yards. Gavin Williams ran for 98 yards on 16 carries, while Arlen Bruce IV gave Iowa its first touchdown of the day on a 20-yard sweep with 3:21 left in the third quarter. LaPorta, the latest in a long line of elite tight ends at Iowa, caught five passes for 98 yards.

Kentucky passed almost every test offensively in the early going against Iowa's stout defense. Levis connected on nine of his first 11 passes, including a 5-yard swing pass to Rodriguez for the only touchdown of the first half.

Levin completed a 34-yard strike to Robinson on a third-and-26 play, leading to a field goal for the Wildcats. Thirty-nine seconds later, D'Eryk Jackson intercepted Petras after the ball was tipped at the line by Jordan Wright. However, Iowa's defense held firm and forced Kentucky to settle for Matt Ruffolo's second field goal.

Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz and offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz refused to name a starting quarterback in the days leading up the game, but the Hawkeyes went with Petras, the starter most of the season despite injuries that knocked him out of 3 1/2 games.


Scoring Summary
First Quarter IowaKty
Kty TD 5:32 Chris Rodriguez Jr. 5 yd pass from Will Levis (Matt Ruffolo kick) 0 7
Second Quarter IowaKty
Iowa FG 11:03 Caleb Shudak 28 yd FG 3 7
Kty FG 2:48 Matt Ruffolo 21 yd FG 3 10
Kty FG 0:38 Matt Ruffolo 27 yd FG 3 13
Third Quarter IowaKty
Iowa TD 3:21 Arland Bruce IV 20 yd run (Caleb Shudak kick) 10 13
Fourth Quarter IowaKty
Iowa TD 10:54 Sam LaPorta 36 yd pass from Spencer Petras (Caleb Shudak kick) 17 13
Kty TD 1:48 Chris Rodriguez Jr. 6 yd run (Matt Ruffolo kick) 17 20
Team Stats
  Iowa Kentucky
First downs 20 24
  Rushing 6 11
  Passing 12 10
  Penalty 2 3
3rd Down Efficiency 4-11, 36% 6-14, 43%
4th down efficiency 0-1, 0% 0-2, 0%
Rushes-Yards 30-173 47-121
Passing Yards 211 233
Return Yards 33 3
Completions-Attempts-Int 19-30-3 17-28-1
Sacks-Yards Lost 0-0 6--38
Punts 4 4
Punts-Average 50 45.5
Fumbles Lost 0-0 0-0
Penalties - Yards 4-35 3-20
Time of Possession 22:06 37:54
Iowa Passing
Player Cmp Att Yds TDs Int
S. Petras 19 30 211 1 3
Kentucky Passing
Player Cmp Att Yds TDs Int
W. Levis 17 28 233 1 1
Iowa Rushing
Player Carries Yds Avg TDs
G. Williams 16 98 6.1 0
L. Williams 10 42 4.2 0
A. Bruce IV 2 21 10.5 1
I. Kelly-Martin 1 12 12.0 0
S. Petras 1 0 0.0 0
Kentucky Rushing
Player Carries Yds Avg TDs
C. Rodriguez Jr. 20 107 5.4 1
J. McClain 10 28 2.8 0
W. Levis 15 -11 -0.7 0
Iowa Receiving
Player Rec Yds Avg TDs
S. LaPorta 7 122 17.4 1
A. Bruce IV 4 24 6.0 0
I. Kelly-Martin 2 17 8.5 0
L. Lachey 1 15 15.0 0
G. Williams 2 14 7.0 0
L. Lee 1 12 12.0 0
J. Ritter 1 4 4.0 0
M. Pottebaum 1 3 3.0 0
Kentucky Receiving
Player Rec Yds Avg TDs
W. Robinson 10 170 17.0 0
D. Harris 2 28 14.0 0
I. Cummings 1 13 13.0 0
J. Rigg 2 11 5.5 0
B. Bates 1 6 6.0 0
C. Rodriguez Jr. 1 5 5.0 1
Iowa Interceptions
Player Int Yards
J. Harris 1 0
Kentucky Interceptions
Player Int Yards
D. Jackson 1 3
Q. Mosely 1 0
D. Square 1 0
Iowa Punting
Player Punts Yards Avg
T. Taylor 4 200 50.0
Kentucky Punting
Player Punts Yards Avg
C. Goodfellow 4 182 45.5
Iowa Punt Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
C. Jones 1 3 3.0
Kentucky Punt Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
Iowa Kick Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
C. Jones 2 30 15.0
Kentucky Kick Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
Iowa Missed FG
Player Length
Kentucky Missed FG
Player Length




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