Saturday, January 2, 2021

NC State Falls to Kentucky in TaxSlayer Gator Bowl

JACKSONVILLE, FL – The NC State Wolfpack, ranked 23rd coming into Saturday’s TaxSlayer Gator Bowl, were unable to complete the comeback they needed against the Kentucky Wildcats, fell 23-21 to finish the 2020 season at 8-4.

Quarterback Bailey Hockman was 27/40 passing for 268 yards and a touchdown. Running back Zonovan “Bam” Knight had 52 yards rushing and a score. Isaac Duffy led the defense with thirteen tackles.

Coach Dave Doeren

“It was a great football game. I’m proud of the way we fought back in the second half and had multiple chances to get it back and get a lead. Obviously, it’s one of those games when you lose by two points there’s a lot of plays you think about, and we were without a lot of players today…I thought our defense really battled not having Alim [McNeill] and Payton [Wilson] and Drake [Thomas] and Tanner [Ingle], the kids who had to play in their place played hard…Offensively, we just turned the ball over three times, missed two field goals. We had our chances to make that a different game and we didn’t. You have to give Kentucky credit for that. It was a really hard-fought game and a physical game, as I expected it to be…Proud of the way the kids fought, proud of our season. This doesn’t make me feel like we didn’t have a good season – we did. It was a great experience. I’m appreciative of the opportunity to be down here, and I’m really excited that so many of these players are back. It’s going to be a great offseason with them.” “I love these guys. The players, the coaches, the staff, we went through a lot. We went through a lot last season when there was a lot of people talking negatively about us. We stuck together, we came back with a growing attitude…We grew a lot together, we learned a lot from each other. A lot of guys stepped up this year and stepped into roles where they weren’t starters and injuries took place and guys would step in and just play.”


Scoring Summary

Qtr         Time      Scoring Play       V-H

1st         06:00    UK - Matt Ruffolo 25 yd FG 16-68 9:00    0-3

2nd        06:23    UK - Chris Rodriguez 4 yd TD RUSH (KICK by Matt Ruffolo), 6-79 2:39       0-10

2nd        00:02    UK - Matt Ruffolo 26 yd FG 7-69 1:21      0-13

3rd         02:56    ST - Riley, C.J. 9 yd TD PASS from Hockman, B. (KICK by Dunn, C.), 13-76 6:12   7-13

4th         05:45    UK - Matt Ruffolo 20 yd FG 7-40 3:09      7-16

4th         04:46    ST - Knight, Z. 13 yd TD RUSH (KICK by Dunn, C.), 3-37 0:54               14-16

4th         02:55    UK - Chris Rodriguez 26 yd TD RUSH (KICK by Matt Ruffolo), 1-26 0:07       14-23