Syracuse 20, Kentucky 13
UK – Shanklin 3 run (Samuel kick)…11:58 1st Qtr
UK – Samuel 22 FG…6:31 1st Qtr
SU – Johnson 2 run (Trout kick)…1:56 2nd Qtr
UK – Samuel 35 FG…10:39 4th Qtr
SU – Mungro 32 run (Trout kick)…9:08 4th Qtr
SU – Mungro 20 run (Brown run failed)…1:42 4th Qtr
Attendance – 59,221
Dec. 29, 1999
– Playing in back-to-back bowl games for the first time since 1983-84, the Kentucky Wildcats went down to the wire before falling to Syracuse, 20-13, in the HomePoint.com Music City Bowl in Nashville. Kentucky played before a heavily partisan crowd, as almost all of the 59,221 fans were pulling for the Wildcats.
Kentucky blazed to a 10-0 lead in the first quarter. The Wildcats took the opening kickoff and maneuvered 79 yards for a touchdown. Tight end James Whalen set up the TD with a 45-yard reception and Kendrick Shanklin ran it in from the three-yard line.
The Wildcats held on defense, forcing a punt. Quarterback Dusty Bonner again drove the Wildcats inside the 10-yard line before settling for a 22-yard field goal by Marc Samuel. Whalen, however, was injured during the series and was lost for the remainder of the game. Already having caught four passes for 79 yards midway through the first quarter, his presence was sorely missed.
The Kentucky defense continued to stop Syracuse, including two fumble recoveries and a blocked field goal, but the Orangemen got on the board late in the second quarter. The Wildcats led at halftime, 10-7.
A scoreless third quarter led to a dramatic final stanza. Samuel extended the UK lead to 13-7 with a 35-yard field goal. Syracuse countered with two scoring runs by James Mungro, taking a 20-13 lead.
Kentucky got its last chance by taking over on its own four-yard line with only 1:35 remaining and no timeouts. Bonner did a great job of moving the team to the Syracuse 41-yard line, but ran out of time, and a desperation heave on the game’s final play fell incomplete.
Bonner led the UK attack by completing 30 of 43 passes for 308 yards and he also ran for 16 yards. In his final game as a Wildcat, running back Anthony White caught eight passes for 85 yards – both figures setting UK bowl records.
Linebacker Ryan Murphy led the defense in tackles with a career-high 15 stops. Linebacker Marlon McCree had an outstanding game. He tied his career high for tackles with 10, including two tackles for loss and a quarterback sack, caused two fumbles, and recovered a fumble. Defensive tackle George Massey (nine) and free safety Anthony Wajda (eight) each tied his career high for tackles.
The Wildcats blocked two field goals, one each by defensive end Dennis Johnson and another by linebacker Jamal White.
Kentucky SyracuseFirst Downs 18 19Rush Attempts/ Net Rushing Yds. 23/57 47/276Passing C/A/I 30/43/1 11/15/0Net Passing Yards 308 128Offensive Plays 68 62Total Offense 365 404Fumbles/Lost 3/1 3/2Penalties/Yards 4/20 3/20Punts/Average 4/45 3/33Third Down Conv. 8 of 17 6 of 12Time of Possession 28:36 31:24
– Rushing –
– Passing –
– Receiving –
– Tackles –