ORLANDO, Fla. — No. 15 Iowa and No. 22 Kentucky will meet in the 2022 Vrbo Citrus Bowl at Camping World Stadium at 12 p.m. Saturday. The Hawkeyes and Wildcats have never played each other before.
Iowa and Kentucky have won the Citrus Bowl before. The Hawkeyes did so in 2005 and Wildcats won it in 2019.
Both Iowa and Kentucky have won their last three bowl games. The Hawkeyes have never won four bowl games consecutively. With a win Saturday, Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz would tie former Penn State head coach Joe Paterno for most bowl wins as a Big Ten head coach.
The Hawkeyes have won 15 straight nonconference games — the longest such streak in the nation. A victory would also ensure the Hawkeyes are the reigning champions of two bowl games at once. Iowa won the 2019 Holiday Bowl in San Diego, and the 2020 and 2021 Holiday Bowls were canceled because of COVID-19.
PREGAME: Iowa will be without its top weapon in the pass game Saturday. Wide receiver Keagan Johnson was not on the field for warmups before the game. HawkeyeReport.com’s Tom Kakert tweeted that Johnson was injured at practice earlier this week.
Half an hour before kickoff, Iowa Athletics confirmed Johnson would miss Saturday’s game for an issue that is not related to COVID-19.
Iowa did not announce a starting quarterback before Saturday’s game. Junior Spencer Petras, sophomore Alex Padilla, and true freshman Joey Labas all warmed up pregame.
Third-string quarterback Deuce Hogan and wide receiver Tyrone Tracy will not play in Saturday’s Citrus Bowl. Both of them entered the transfer portal earlier this season.
Iowa’s starting running back, Tyler Goodson, also will not participate in Saturday’s matinee. He declared for the 2022 NFL Draft Dec. 10 and announced he’d be foregoing the Hawkeyes’ bowl game.
Senior Ivory Kelly-Martin and redshirt freshmen Gavin Williams and Leshon Williams will fill in for Goodson.
The offensive linemen running with Iowa’s first-stringers in pregame warmups are juniors Jack Plumb and Tyler Linderbaum, redshirt freshmen Mason Richman and Connor Colby, and senior Kyler Schott.
COIN TOSS: Kentucky wins the toss and defers to the second half. Iowa will receive the ball and defend the north end zone.
13:00 1Q — Iowa punts the ball into the end zone. Kentucky will take over 1st & 10 from its own 20-yard line.
5:32 1Q — Kentucky takes nearly eight minutes off the clock on a 13-play scoring drive capped by a Will Levis passing touchdown to running back Chris Rodriguez. The Wildcats lead the Hawkeyes, 7-0.
2:52 1Q — Iowa’s Tory Taylor punts the ball back to Kentucky. The Wildcats will take over 1st & 10 from their own 22-yard line. Iowa’s offense has gained 31 yards in nine plays today.
END 1Q — Iowa gets the ball back from Kentucky and picks up a quick first down. The Hawkeyes will face a 2nd & 2 from their own 42-yard line on the other side of the break. The Wildcats still lead the game, 7-0.
11:06 2Q — Iowa kicker Caleb Shudak converts on a 28-yard field goal. A false start penalty stalled the Hawkeye drive in the red zone. The Wildcats still lead the game, 7-3.
6:59 2Q — Kentucky burns its first timeout of the half. The Wildcats will face 2nd & 18 from their own 46-yard line on the other side of the break. The Hawkeyes still trail, 7-3.
2:48 2Q — Kentucky kicker Matt Ruffolo converts on a 21-yard field goal attempt. The Wildcats extend their lead over the Hawkeyes, 10-3.
2:09 2Q — Iowa QB Spencer Petras’ pass is intercepted. The Wildcats take over 1st & 10 at the Hawkeye 31-yard line.
0:38 2Q — Kentucky kicker Matt Ruffolo converts on a 27-yard field goal attempt. The Wildcats now lead the Hawkeyes, 13-3.
HALFTIME: Kentucky 13, Iowa 3
10:31 3Q — Kentucky punts the ball into the end zone. The Hawkeye offense will take over 1st & 10 from its own 20-yard line. Iowa still trails, 13-3.
7:47 3Q — Iowa turns the ball over in the red zone. Kentucky takes over 1st & 10 at its own 11-yard line.
3:21 3Q — Iowa scores on a 20-yard end around to freshman wide receiver Arland Bruce. Kicker Caleb Shudak’s extra point is good. The Hawkeyes have shaved the Wildcats’ lead to three. Kentucky 13, Iowa 10.
END 3Q — Kentucky 13, Iowa 10
14:09 4Q — Kentucky punts the ball to the Iowa 8-yard line. The Hawkeyes will take over from there, 1st & 10, with a chance to capture the lead or tie the game at 13.
10:54 4Q — Iowa tight end Sam LaPorta scores on a 36-yard throw-back screen from QB Spencer Petras. The Hawkeyes have captured their first lead of the day, 17-13.
7:13 4Q — Kentucky turns the ball over on downs. The Hawkeyes take over, 1st & 10, at their own 35-yard line. Iowa still leads, 17-13.
3:59 4Q — Iowa cornerback Jermari Harris intercepts Kentucky QB Will Levis’ pass. The Hawkeyes regain possession at the Wildcat 36-yard line.
3:31 4Q — Iowa punts the ball into the end zone. Kentucky takes over, 1st & 10, at its own 20-yard line. The Hawkeyes still lead, 17-13.
1:48 4Q — Kentucky running back Chris Rodriguez finds the end zone from six yards out. The Wildcats convert on the extra point. The Hawkeyes now trail, 20-17.
0:48 4Q — Iowa quarterback Spencer Petras throws his third interception of the day. Kentucky will take over, 1st & 10, at the Hawkeye 26-yard line. Iowa trails, 20-17.
FINAL: Kentucky 20, Iowa 17