Kentucky-Clemson Postgame Notes

Kentucky-Clemson Postgame Notes

DEC. 29, 2023  

FINAL SCORE: No. 22 Clemson 38, Kentucky 35

Team Records and Series Information

  • Kentucky ends the season with a 7-6 record in 2023, as Clemson went 9-4.
  • Despite the loss, Kentucky remains the leader in the all-time series, 8-6.
    • However, Clemson remains the leader in bowl games, 3-1.


Kentucky in Bowl Games       

  • Kentucky extended its school-record streak of eight straight bowl appearances with its appearance in the 2023 TaxSlayer Gator Bowl.
    • It is the ninth-longest active streak in college football.
  • Kentucky has a 12-11 all-time record in bowl games.
    • UK has a 1-2 all-time record in the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl.
  • Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops moved to 4-4 in bowl games.

Team Notes

  • Kentucky scored five touchdowns today, tying the school record for most TDs in a bowl game.
  • The Kentucky defense had 13 tackles for loss, including eight quarterback sacks, season highs in both categories.


Player Notes

  • Quarterback Devin Leary completed 16 of his 28 passing attempts for 306 yards and two touchdowns.
    • It marked his third game this season and the 11th game of his career with 300+ yards passing.
    • It marked his eighth game this season and the 25th game of his career recording at least two touchdowns passing.
    • He finished the season completing 209 of 371 passes (56.3 percent) for 2,746 yards and 25 touchdowns.
      • His 25 touchdown passes are one short of the top five in program history (Dusty Bonner had 26 in 1999, which is ranked fifth in program history).
    • He finishes his college career with 9,553 yards passing and 86 touchdowns passing.
  • Running back Ray Davis carried the ball 13 times for 63 yards and one touchdown rushing.
    • With his one touchdown this afternoon, he has 21 total touchdowns on the season, extending his single-season school record.
    • He also extended his single-season school record for points scored with 126.
    • He had 1,129 yards rushing in his lone season at Kentucky, finishing 11th on the UK’s single-season list.
    • He finished his career with 3,626 yards rushing.
      • He is believed to be the only player to total at least 1,000 career rushing yards at three Division I FBS schools (also Temple and Vanderbilt).
    • He also finished the season by catching 33 passes for 323 yards and seven touchdowns, a school record for most touchdown catches in a season by a running back.
  • Wide receiver Barion Brown had three receptions for 100 yards, including a 60-yard touchdown reception. He added two carries for 26 yards and a 22-yard touchdown rushing. He also added a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown on the first play of the second half, his third TD return of the season and the fourth of his career.
      • Brown’s kickoff return for a TD, which was credited as 102 yards according to the Bowl’s stat crew, is the longest in TaxSlayer Gator Bowl history, a record previously held by Andre Debose of Florida (99 yards) against Ohio State on Jan. 2, 2012.
        • Brown’s kickoff return for a TD is the second for a Kentucky player in a bowl game.  The other was by David Jones against East Carolina (99 yards, also at the beginning of the second half) in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl on Jan. 2, 2009.
      • Brown’s three kickoff returns for TDs this season is more than any player in the FBS in 2023.
        • Prior to the start of the game, Brown was one of five players who had two kickoff returns for TD in 2023.
      • Three kickoff returns for TDs in one season is a Kentucky record (former record two by Derek Abney in 2002).
      • Three kickoff returns for TD in one season ties the SEC record (Willie Gault, Tennessee 1980; Brandon Boykin, Georgia 2009; Warren Norman, Vanderbilt 2009; Evan Berry, Tennessee 2015).
      • Four kickoff returns for TD in a career is a program record (former record three by Craig Yeast, 1995-98).
      • Four kickoff returns for TD in a career ties the SEC record shared with seven other players.
    • His touchdown rushing marked the first of his career.
    • He became the second player in school history to have a rushing, receiving and kickoff return for a touchdown in the same game.
      • The other player to do so was Don “Dopey” Phelps vs. Michigan State in 1946.
      • It also marked the first game of his career that he had a touchdown both receiving and rushing.
    • He improved his streak of 26 straight games with a reception, which is every game of his college career.
    • He has 1,167 career yards receiving, moving up to 28th in school history.
  • Wide receiver Dane Key had four catches for 83 yards and a five-yard touchdown reception.
    • His first catch of the game was a career-long, 58-yard reception, which set him up for a five-yard touchdown reception on the very next play to help Kentucky take a four-point lead over Clemson in the second quarter.
    • Key has 1,155 career receiving yards, moving up to 29th in school history.
  • Tight end Jordan Dingle had a career-long 72-yard reception, which set Kentucky up for a touchdown to regain a lead in the fourth quarter.
  • Wide receiver Tayvion Robinson had four catches for 45 yards.
    • He has 1,049 receiving yards at Kentucky, moving up to 33rd in school history.
    • He finished his collegiate career with 194 receptions for 2,604 yards and 15 touchdowns.
  • Linebacker Trevin Wallace led the team with 11 total tackles, including six solo stops.
    • He had one tackle for loss (-2 yards), which was a quarterback sack.
    • It marked the fourth game this season and the fifth game of his career that he had double-digit tackles.
  • Defensive back Jordan Lovett had UK’s lone interception of the game, which he caught in the Kentucky endzone for a timely stop early in the fourth quarter.
    • It marked his third this season and fifth of his career.
      • His three interceptions this season are the most in a season for him and the second most on any player on the team in 2023.
    • He added four total tackles, including three solo stops.
  • Linebacker J.J. Weaver led the team with two tackles for loss (-12 yards), both of which were sacks.
    • He had five total tackles, including two solo stops.
  • Game captains: defensive back Zion Childress, quarterback Devin Leary, defensive lineman Deone Walker, linebacker Trevin Wallace

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