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Music City Bowl: Kentucky-Northwestern preview podcast

Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald will lead the Big 10 team into the Music City Bowl against Kentucky on Friday, Dec. 29, 2017 at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tenn.
Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald will lead the Big 10 team into the Music City Bowl against Kentucky on Friday, Dec. 29, 2017 at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tenn. Associated Press

Looking for its first bowl victory since the 2008 season, Kentucky’s football Wildcats take on Northwestern’s football Wildcats in the Music City Bowl on Friday, Dec. 29 in Nashville.

To preview the game, I talked with Teddy Greenstein of the Chicago Tribune and Jennifer Smith of the Herald-Leader. Teddy, a former Herald-Leader intern, covers Northwestern sports. He gives a scouting report on the team from the Big Ten. Smith covers UK football. She brings us up to date on UK’s preparation.

Both teams rely on a strong running game. Northwestern’s Justin Jackson rushed for 1,154 yards and nine touchdowns this season. Kentucky’s Benny Snell rushed for 1,318 yards and 18 touchdowns.

Teddy on Jackson:

“He has rushed for 1,000 yards four straight seasons. He is, I believe, third now all-time in the Big Ten. It’s pretty amazing when you think about Ron Dayne and Archie Giffin and some of the great running backs in the Big Ten. He’s really consistent. Justin Jackson’s best runs are often three-yard runs. Guys who would be taken down for a loss of one or at the line of scrimmage, he turns into a plus-3. Guys who would get three, he gets six.”

Jen on a key for Kentucky:

“Both teams are going to have to stop the run. That will be really interesting with Kentucky, who was pretty good at stopping the run against lesser opponents early in the season. At one point, it was a Top 10 run stop team. And then there’s the other Kentucky that played Georgia and Louisville, two excellent running teams with a Heisman guy (Lamar Jackson) on the Louisville side.”

She wrote on the Kentucky run defense on Wednesday.

Here’s the podcast.

You can find Herald-Leader podcasts on Soundcloud and iTunes.

Northwestern football 2017

Date

Opponent

Nor

Opp

Dec

Rec

Big 10

9/2

Nevada

31

20

W

1-0

9/9

@Duke

17

41

L

1-1

9/16

Bowling Green

49

7

W

2-1

9/30

@Wisconsin

24

33

L

2-2

0-1

10/7

Penn State

7

31

L

2-3

0-2

10/14

@Maryland

37

21

W

3-3

1-2

10/21

Iowa

17

10

W (OT)

4-3

2-2

10/28

Michigan State

39

31

W (OT)

5-3

3-2

11/4

@Nebraska

31

24

W (OT)

6-3

4-2

11/11

Purdue

23

13

W

7-3

5-2

11/18

Minnesota

39

0

W

8-3

6-2

11/25

@Illinois

42

7

W

9-3

7-2

Kentucky football 2017

Date

Opponent

UK

Opp

Dec

Rec

SEC

9/2/17

@Southern Miss

24

17

W

1-0

9/9/17

Eastern Kentucky

27

16

W

2-0

9/16/17

@South Carolina

23

13

W

3-0

1-0

9/23/17

Florida

27

28

L

3-1

1-1

9/30/17

Eastern Michigan

24

20

W

4-1

10/7/17

Missouri

40

34

W

5-1

2-1

10/21/17

@Mississippi St

7

45

L

5-2

2-2

10/28/17

Tennessee

29

26

W

6-2

3-2

11/4/17

Ole Miss

34

37

L

6-3

3-3

11/11/17

@Vanderbilt

44

21

W

7-3

4-3

11/18/17

@Georgia

13

42

L

7-4

4-4

11/25/17

Louisville

17

44

L

7-5

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