Wild half of ejections and injuries for Northwestern at Music City Bowl

Jon Howard
January 1, 2018

Kentucky played in its second straight bowl game and 5th Music City Bowl against #21 Northwestern in Nashville. "We missed a ton of tackles (late in the season)", he said. "We came up inches short and I hurt for the team because they gave everything they had".

It all came down to a 2-point conversion by Kentucky and it was unsuccessful, giving Northwestern a 10 win season.

It would be Kentucky (7-6) that kicked off the scoring, as Benny Snell's 3-yard run with 12:42 remaining in the first quarter gave Mark Stoops' team a 7-0 lead.

Northwestern will end up finishing its season 10-3 with a win over Kentucky in the Music City Bowl. The only other time that has happened was in the span of the 1903-1905 seasons. And NU also has won back-to-back bowls for the first time ever. He completed his first pass but there was a penalty that called it back. Both teams played most of the game without their most productive starters.

Kentucky running back Benny Snell Jr. was ejected from the Music City Bowl after making contact with a referee after a 7-yard loss in the second quarter.

Now the job to replace him begins with a quarterback battle between the senior Barker, sophomore Gunnar Hoak and redshirt freshmen Danny Clark and Walker Wood. The injury occurred on a trick play. It would be during the drive that culminated with Jackson's first rushing touchdown that Northwestern would lose starting quarterback Clayton Thorson, who suffered a serious right knee injury after catching a pass from running back Jeremy Larkin on the second play of the quarter. The QB carried all the way to the Kentucky five yard line, where linebacker Jordan Jones tackled him from behind.

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Stephen Johnson returned to the field.

Jackson heads into the Music City Bowl having rushed for at least 100 yards in three of Northwestern's last four games and six total this season.

He finished 2017 with 10 touchdown passes on 2,305 yards and five rushing scores. After the game, Referee Chris Coyte explained his reasoning for ejecting Snell. The outcry against the call was intense and included the likes of Tim Tibow and Andre Ware.

Northwestern vs. Kentucky news:Stoops declined further comment on why Ware will miss the game, but regardless, this is a big loss for an already-struggling United Kingdom defense.

Kentucky fans howled again after NU defensive end Joe Gaziano tackled quarterback Stephen Johnson well out of bounds. The penalty took United Kingdom out of field goal range. Johnson was seen hollering at the officials as he headed to the locker room before halftime.

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