Clemson, Kentucky will face each other in 79th Gator Bowl


The matchup for the 79th Annual TaxSlayer Gator Bowl has been set and it will be the Clemson University Tigers of the Atlantic Coast Conference against the University of Kentucky Wildcats of the Southeastern Conference.

The two teams will meet on Dec. 29 with kickoff at noon on Bill Gay Grounds at EverBank Stadium in Jacksonville. The game will be televised once again this year nationally on ESPN.

The teams have met 14 previous times, including in bowl games, with the last meeting coming in 2009 in the Music City Bowl where Clemson won 21-13.

After a rocking start, the Tigers (8-4) have appeared to have figured things in the latter part of the season and will enter the Gator Bowl riding a four-game winning streak.

The Tigers were ranked No. 22 in the final College Football Playoff rankings after finishing sixth in the ACC and are led by two-time national championship-winning head coach Dabo Swinney.

It was a fast start to the season for the Wildcats, who got off to a 5-0 start before hitting a tough stretch in the middle part of the season, before righting the ship with an emotional 38-31 win over in-state rival and Louisville, who was ranked in the top 10 at the time.

Throughout the year, the Wildcats have been led offensive by Ray Davis, who finished with more than 1,000 yards on the ground and averaged 5.7 yards a carry per game.

Davis led the Wildcats in both rushing and receiving touchdowns with 13 and seven, respectively.

This will be the 13th time the Gator Bowl has partnered with TaxSlayer as the game’s title sponsor.

“We're proud of this long-standing partnership and excited to connect with the Clemson and Kentucky fans through this historic tradition,” said Jamie Saxe, CEO of TaxSlayer.

The format of the bowl season will look much different next year, as the College Football Playoff expands to 12 teams.

Gator Bowl, Clemson Tigers, Kentucky Wildcats