(Since this preview was written, it has been learned that as many as 36 Florida State players will be ineligible for this bowl game, many of whom were found to be involved in an academic cheating scandal. Many of those players could also be forced to miss up to three games at the start of next season. Citing privacy laws, the university had not named the players at the time of this update).
Rich Brooks is in his fifth season at Kentucky with a record of 23-35 (.397) and in his 23rd season overall with a record of 114-144-4 (.443). The Wildcats' offensive coordinator is Joker Phillips and the defensive coordinator is Steve Brown.
Bobby Bowden is in his 32nd season at FSU with a record of 300-86-4 (.774) and in his 42nd season overall with a record of 373-118-4 (.758). The Seminoles' offensive coordinator is Jimbo Fisher and the defensive coordinator is Mickey Andrews.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN KENTUCKY HAS THE BALL
Jacob Tamme caught 53 passes for 584 yards and five touchdowns. He is the all-time leading pass catcher among UK tight ends and second in SEC history. Andre Woodson has thrown for 3,351 yards and 36 touchdowns, leading the SEC in both categories. He was named National Player of the Week following three games this season and set an NCAA record with 325 consecutive passes without an interception.
Geno Hayes is tied for 14th in the NCAA in tackles for loss and he leads FSU in unassisted tackles, tackles for loss and forced fumbles. He is second on the team in total tackles and sacks. Patrick Robinson burst onto the national stage this year and is currently tied for 10th in the nation in interceptions per game. The sophomore is just two picks shy of the national lead for total interceptions. He has six pass break-ups to go with his six interceptions.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN FLORIDA STATE HAS THE BALL
Wesley Woodyard leads the SEC in tackles with 124 stops, his third consecutive season reaching the century mark in tackles. He was named SEC Defensive Player of the Week in the win at Arkansas. He has an active streak of 36 games with at least four tackles. Jeremy Jarmon has nine quarterback sacks, second in the SEC in that category. For the season, he has 58 tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss, two fumbles caused, two pass breakups, and a fumble recovery.
De'Cody Fagg leads a talented core of wideouts. Fagg has caught 49 passes for 707 yards (14.4 ypc), including five touchdowns. Preston Parker and Greg Carr also have nearly 700 yards receiving each in 2007 - both have three touchdowns. Guard Rodney Hudson was the only true freshman in the ACC to receive an All-League honor. Ryan McMahon, a freshman All-American, is the only freshman center in the country to take every offensive snap for his team this season.
Lones Seiber is 16-23 on field goal attempts with a long of 48 yards. He is 46 of 49 on extra point attempts in 2007. Tim Masthay punted 45 times for a 38.9 yard average. He had a long of 63 yards and had 16 punts downed inside the 20 yard line. Mashay kicked off for the Wildcats, recording 20 touchbacks this season with the new NCAA rule.
Jeff Cismesia, who has tied the ACC record for field goals in a season and who set the record for the longest field goal in ACC history versus Florida, is the first Seminole placekicker to receive first or second team All-America honors since Lou Groza Award winner Sebastian Janikowski in 1999. Graham Gano has boomed a 50-yard punt in 10 straight games this season and is averaging almost 43 yards per punt.
Record: UK, 3-1-1 • Last: UK, 26-24 (1965 at Lexington)
This marks only the fourth time in Kentucky history that the Wildcats have played in bowl games in consecutive years...Last season, Kentucky played in the Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl and defeated Clemson, 28-20, before the largest crowd (68,024) in bowl history... Kentucky has back-to-back bowl wins only one time in school history, winning the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 1, 1951, and the Cotton Bowl on Jan. 1, 1952...Kentucky has a 7-5 record this season, UK's first back-to-back seven-win campaigns in 30 years.