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CATS Headed to TaySlayer Gator Bowl to Face Clemson

Wildcats to play in the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl, will face No. 22-ranked Clemson on Dec. 29 

LEXINGTON – December 3, 2023

The Kentucky Football team is headed to 79th TaxSlayer Gator Bowl to take on No. 22-ranked Clemson on Friday, Dec. 29 in Jacksonville, Fla. The Wildcats and Tigers will tangle at noon ET at Bill Gay Grounds at EverBank Stadium. The game will be televised by ESPN. 

  “On behalf of our team and all of us at the University of Kentucky, we are excited to accept the invitation to the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl,” Coach Mark Stoops said. “The Big Blue Nation always represents at our bowl destination and we are excited to spend time in Jacksonville.  We look forward to a great week and our team can’t wait to play one more time this season.”   

Kentucky will make its third TaxSlayer Gator Bowl appearance, all since 2016. The Wildcats won their last Gator Bowl appearance, 23-21, over No. 24 NC State on Jan. 2, 2021. UK’s inaugural trip to the event was a 33-18 win by Georgia Tech in 2016. 

“The University of Kentucky is honored to receive an invitation to represent the Southeastern Conference in the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl,” said UK Director of Athletics Mitch Barnhart.  “We are thrilled to go to Jacksonville, where we have had great bowl experiences and have an excellent relationship with (bowl director) Greg McGarity and the staff. 

“From a football perspective, we’re proud to be going to the postseason for an eighth straight year and have the opportunity to compete against an outstanding opponent in Clemson.”   

All season ticket holders and K Fund donors who placed a TaxSlayer Gator Bowl request during the priority request period (Nov. 17-30) will receive tickets, and confirmation emails will be sent Sunday evening (Dec. 3). Tickets ordered during the priority request period will be allocated into the best seat locations in Kentucky’s official allotment and assigned in order of K Fund priority point ranking later this week. 

Remaining tickets in Kentucky’s official allotment will go on sale Monday, Dec. 4 at 9 a.m. ET, online at or by calling (800) 928-2287, option 4. Kentucky will be on the west side of EverBank Stadium. Student ticket information for the TaxSlayer Bowl will be available on Sunday evening, online at Fans are encouraged to purchase tickets directly from UK Athletics to guarantee seats with other Kentucky fans and to help UK meet its bowl ticket obligations.  

Kentucky enters the game with a 7-5 record, the seventh time in the last eight years that the Wildcats have won at least seven games, with only the Covid-shortened 2020 season interrupting the trend. The Wildcats enter the game following their fifth straight Governor’s Cup win, a 38-31 victory over then-top-10-ranked Louisville.  It is the sixth straight year that the Wildcats completed the regular season with a win, the first time in school history that has been accomplished.   
Clemson enters the Bowl 8-4 overall, 4-4 in the Atlantic Coast Conference.  The Tigers are slotted No. 22 in the final College Football Playoff rankings. 

Kentucky is 8-5 vs. Clemson all-time, with three of the matchups coming in bowl games.  Clemson won the 1993 Peach Bowl, 14-13, before the teams split a pair of Music City Bowl appearances – UK victorious 28-20 in 2006 and Clemson winning, 21-13, in 2009.   

The TaxSlayer Gator Bowl appearance extends Kentucky’s school-record streak of eight consecutive bowl appearances, all coming under Stoops.  UK is one of only eight teams in the nation, and one of only three in the SEC (along with Alabama and Georgia) with at least eight consecutive Bowl appearances.  

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