JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – January 2, 2020
Following a 23-21 victory for the University of Kentucky over NC State University on Bill Gay Grounds at TIAA Bank Field, Kentucky RB A.J. Rose and NC State RB Zonovan Knight were named MVPs of the 76th annual TaxSlayer Gator Bowl.
Rose, the winning MVP, led the Wildcats in rushing, finishing with 148 yards on 12 attempts, including a long run of 44 yards midway through the second quarter. Knight rushed for 52 yards and one touchdown.
The TaxSlayer Gator Bowl has recognized a winning team MVP since the contest began in 1946. In 1953, it also began acknowledging an MVP from the opposing team to honor outstanding individual performances. Previous noteworthy TaxSlayer Gator Bowl MVPs include Louisville QB Lamar Jackson (2017), Georgia RB Todd Gurley (2014), Georgia Tech WR Calvin Johnson (2007), and Syracuse QB Donovan McNabb (1996).
Previous NC State honorees include QB Philip Rivers (2003), QB Ryan Finley (2018) and WR Reggie Lawrence (1992). In Kentucky’s only previous TaxSlayer Gator Bowl appearance in 2016, QB Stephen Johnson was honored as an MVP.
Tennessee RB James Stewart was named MVP in 1994 and later returned to play at TIAA Bank Field as a member of the Jacksonville Jaguars’ inaugural season starting lineup. Current Jaguars WR Terry Godwin also received the honor while playing for Georgia in 2016.