On Tuesday, January 1st, the (9-3) Kentucky Wildcats will take on the (9-3) Penn State Nittany Lions in the Virbo Citrus Bowl.

The Crowd:

The Crowd projects a final score of Penn State 30.0 – Kentucky 24.3 with an over/under of 54.3.

Lou Holtz and Mark May:

Lou is predicting a final score of Kentucky 27 – Penn State 24.

Mark is predicting a final score of Kentucky 29 – Penn State 27.

2018-19 Statistics (130 total teams):

Passing offense: Penn State 215.8 YPG (78th) > Kentucky 164.8 YPG (116th)

Rushing offense: Penn State 208.6 YPG (30th) > Kentucky 201.3 YPG (38th)

Scoring offense: Penn State 34.6 PPG (30th) > Kentucky 26.6 PPG (85th)

Scoring defense: Kentucky 16.3 PPG (8th) > Penn State 20.0 PPG (20th)

Passing defense: Kentucky 181.3 (16th) > Penn State 186.5 YPG (22nd)

Rushing defense: Kentucky 144.9 YPG (44th) > Penn State 168.4 YPG (72nd)

Turnover Margin Per Game: Penn State +0.1 (61st) > Kentucky -0.1 (72nd)

Strength of Schedule:

Penn State is (9-3) with victories over Appalachian State, Pittsburgh, Kent State, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Wisconsin, Rutgers, and Maryland.  They were defeated by #4 Ohio State, Michigan State, and #5 Michigan.

Kentucky is (9-3) with wins over Central Michigan, #25 Florida, Murray State, #14 Mississippi State, South Carolina, Vanderbilt, Missouri, Middle Tennessee, and Louisville.  They were defeated by Texas A&M, #6 Georgia, and Tennessee.

Betting Trends: 

-Penn State is 7-5 against the spread this season while Kentucky is 6-5-1.

-Penn State is 6-6 against the over/under this season whereas Kentucky is 5-7.

Bottom Line

Kentucky has one of the best running backs in the country in Benny Snell Jr. and this game will come down to whether or not Penn State can keep him in check.  There’s no question Penn State is the more balanced team and Trace McSorely’s dual threat ability will keep the Kentucky defense honest.  I expect a close game but the senior leadership and decision making of Mcsorely will seal the win late.

Penn State wins 28-23

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