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Citrus Bowl 2019: Penn State vs Kentucky TV Schedule, Time and Odds

The final Big Ten versus SEC clash during college football bowl season pits a program that failed to reach its high expectations against a team that has far exceeded its potential in the Citrus Bowl.

Although they won five of their last six games to reach 9-3, the Penn State Nittany Lions disappointed in their most important contests of the year, as they fell to Ohio State, Michigan and Michigan State.

Unlike James Franklin’s team, Mark Stoops’ Kentucky Wildcats had New Year’s Six aspirations entering November, but defeats to Georgia and Tennessee dropped them to 9-3.

At stake in the Citrus Bowl for the Nittany Lions is a third straight double-digit win season under Franklin, while the Wildcats are hoping to hit the 10-win mark for the first time since 1977.

Citrus Bowl 2019

Citrus Bowl 2019

Date: Tuesday, January 1

Time: 1 p.m. ET

TV: ABC

Live Stream: Watch ESPN or ESPN app

Odds (via OddsShark): Penn State -6.5; Over/Under: 47

In the last three years of Stoops’ tenure, Kentucky ignited football excitement at a school that will always care more about basketball.

The Wildcats made the jump from average to upper-tier SEC team by recording nine wins, but they shouldn’t be content with that mark with a historic season looking them in the face.

Running back Benny Snell is the engine of the Kentucky offense, as he racked up 1,305 yards and 14 touchdowns.

Snell closed the regular season off on a strong note with a pair of 100-yard performances against Middle Tennessee and Louisville.

The junior should achieve a good amount of success against Penn State’s 67th-ranked rushing defense.

In their three losses, Penn State failed to control the line of scrimmage, as it conceded an average of 167 yards, which is close to the 168.4 yards per game it gave up on the ground.

The most embarrassing performance from the Penn State defense came in the 42-7 defeat at the hands of Michigan in which the Wolverines torched the Nittany Lions for 259 rushing yards.

Although Snell is the focal point of the Kentucky offense, he isn’t the only threat the Penn State defense has to contain.

However, the Nittany Lions are better equipped to stop any threat the Wildcats pose through the air, as four members of their secondary have two or more interceptions.

Kentucky quarterback Terry Wilson needs to be careful where he throws the ball in order to prevent Penn State from creating a large advantage through turnovers.

Wilson improved in the second half of the regular season, and he is coming off a 261-yard, three-touchdown performance against Louisville.

Wide receiver Lynn Bowden, who caught two of those touchdown throws versus Louisville, is Wilson’s top target, but he may have a tough time getting free against Penn State corners John Reid and Amani Oruwariye.

Penn State is much more effective through the air than Kentucky, and with Trace McSorley playing in his final game, the Nittany Lions would be smart to let their signal-caller touch the ball as many times as possible.

The quarterback arrives in Orlando, Florida, with 27 total touchdowns, 16 of which came through the air and 11 more that were on the ground.

Between McSorley and 1,000-yard running back Miles Sanders, the Nittany Lions are more than capable of matching Kentucky’s production on the ground and bettering it over four quarters.

Kentucky sits in the middle of the pack when it comes to rushing defense, but the difference between it and Penn State’s ground protection is that it has only conceded 11 rushing scores, which is an accomplishment in a conference with so much talent within the SEC.

Where Penn State may find more difficulties is in its passing game, as Kentucky boasts a 14th-best passing defense that led up 181.3 yards per contest.

McSorley is going to test the resolve of the Kentucky secondary, as he tries to connect with wide receivers KJ Hamler and Juwan Johnson to balance out the offense and keep all the pressure off Sanders’ shoulders.

In order to reach his receivers, though, McSorley needs to elude the pass rush of linebacker Josh Allen, who is considered one of the top defensive prospects in the 2019 draft class.

Prediction

Kentucky 27, Penn State 23

Penn State appears to be the rational pick given the spread and their experience, but Kentucky is ready to send one more surprise through the college football ranks.

Driven by Snell, the Wildcats bolt out to an early lead and weather the storm created by McSorley in the passing game.

Although the Wildcats will do their best to open up a double-digit advantage on Penn State, they’ll use a fourth-quarter stop of the Penn State offense to reach the 10-win mark.

Citrus Bowl 2018: Date, time, location, TV channel for LSU-Notre Dame

The 2018 Citrus Bowl will be held on Jan. 1 at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Fla. between LSU and Notre Dame. The bowl game, which currently features teams from the Big Ten and SEC, started in 1947 as the Tangerine Bowl and has been a New Year’s Day staple since the 1986 season. Find the date, time and location below.

Citrus Bowl 2018 date, time

Teams: LSU-Notre Dame

Time: The 2018 Citrus Bowl is played at 1 p.m. ET on January 1.

Date: Monday, Jan. 1, 2018

Time: 1 p.m. ET

Citrus Bowl 2018 location

The 2018 Citrus Bowl will be held at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Fla.

Teams

The 2018 Citrus Bowl will feature to Top 20 teams that both will be a bit shorthanded heading into the New Year’s Day game.

No. 14 Notre Dame (9-3) burst out of the gate, going 8-1 in its first nine games with its only loss coming to current No. 3 Georgia. However, the Fighting Irish had a shaky end of the 2017 season, losing two out of its last three games. Notre Dame will be without its freshman tight end Brock Wright and sophomore wide receiver Chase Claypool, who both underwent shoulder surgery. The Irish will also be without wide receiver Kevin Stepherson and running back C.J. Holmes, who were both suspended after their arrest following a shoplifting incident, and tight end Alize Mack, who is suspended following an internal team matter.

No. 16 LSU (9-3, 6-2 SEC) had an up-and-down season, including a 24-21 loss to Troy at home and a win over No. 10 Auburn late in the year. Meanwhile, the Tigers are missing a few key players on defense. According to Ross Dellenger of The Advocate, senior linebackers Donnie Alexander and Corey Thompson will miss the Citrus Bowl, while star defensive end/linebacker Arden Key may miss the game as well.

Citrus Bowl history

The Citrus Bowl 2018 is one of the most-storied and most-prominent bowl games in the country. The game began in 1947 when it was known as the Tangerine Bowl. The game’s name was changed to the Citrus Bowl in 1982. The game was known as the Capital One Bowl for 12 years between 2003 and 2014, but it regained the Citrus Bowl moniker in 2015. The game has featured a pair of ranked opponents in every season except for two since 1985. Georgia is tied with Florida for the most Citrus Bowl appearances with six, and the Dawgs have the most wins with a 4-1-1 record.

The Big Ten is 12-14 in the game, and the conference’s most recent win came during the 2015 season when Michigan trounced Florida, 41-7. IN the most recent Citrus Bowl, LSU shut down Heisman winner Lamar Jackson and Louisville in a 29-9 victory.