Gator Bowl 2021: NC State vs. Kentucky preview, how to watch & more

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The Gator Bowl will be played between the N.C. State Wolfpack and the Kentucky Wildcats on Jan. 2, 2021. The game will be played at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, Fla.

The Gator Bowl has been played each season since 1946. It will be N.C. State’s fifth appearance in the bowl game and Kentucky’s second.

The Wolfpack have put together a solid season. The team finished the regular season 8-3, with its three losses coming against ranked teams – Virginia Tech, North Carolina and Miami. The team also delivered a loss to Liberty – the Flames’ lone blemish on the schedule this season.

Bailey Hockman has been the starting quarterback for N.C. State in recent games. Hockman has 1,820 passing yards and 12 touchdown passes this season. Zonovan Knight leads with 736 rushing yards and nine touchdowns. Ricky Person Jr. has taken a majority of the carries, however. He has 635 rushing yards and four touchdowns this season. Emeka Emezie has 42 catches for 694 yards and five scores.

Kentucky is coming into the game with a losing record. The team got the invite thanks to several other schools dropping out due to coronavirus concerns. The Wildcats were 1-4 against ranked opponents this season. Terry Wilson has 1,095 passing yards and seven touchdown passes. Chris Rodriguez Jr. has led the team in rushing yards with 701 along with nine touchdowns. Josh All has 49 catches for 462 yards and a touchdown.

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The Wildcats have won their last two bowl appearances. N.C. State last played in a bowl game in 2018. It lost that matchup to Texas A&M – coincidentally, in the Gator Bowl.

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GATOR BOWL INFO

Sponsor: TaxSlayer

Date: January 2

Time (ET): Noon

TV: ESPN

Location: Jacksonville, Fla.

Stadium: TIAA Bank Field

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GATOR BOWL RECENT WINNERS

2020: Tennessee

2018: Texas A&M

2017: Mississippi State

2016: Georgia Tech

2016: Georgia

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