Clemson stands 15-16 all-time in bowl games and rank 18th in bowl wins. The Tigers are playing in their
21st bowl game in 25 years.
Kentucky is on a 3-bowl winning streak to raise its postseason record to 8-5. The Wildcats are no strangers to Nashville as this marks their 4th trip to the Music City Bowl in the school's last 5 bowl games dating back to 1999. Kentucky has landed here 3 of the last 4 years and has won 2 of its 3 previous appearances, including a 28-20 win over Clemson in 2006.
Kentucky leads the overall series with Clemson, 8-4.
Rich Brooks is in his seventh season at Kentucky with a record of 39-46 (.459). This is his 19th season overall with a record of 130-155-4 (.457). He is 4-3 alltime in bowl games, 3-0 with Kentucky.
Dabo Swinney is in his second season as head coach at Clemson and overall. His 12-8 record includes an 0-1 mark in bowl games as the Tigers lost 26-21 to Nebraska in last season's Gator Bowl.
Clemson comes into this game on the heels of another postseason loss. The 2009 ACC Atlantic division champs lost 39-34 to Georgia Tech in the conference championship game on December 5. The loss was no fault of Clemson tailback C.J. Spiller. The ACC Player of the Year rushed for 233 yards and four touchdowns and was named game MVP.
During his college career, Spiller has set or tied 31 Clemson records and is the only player in the FBS to score at least one touchdown in every game this year. Spiller enters the bowl season with 7,416 career all-purpose yards to rank 3rd in NCAA history. He needs 349 yards to become the all-time NCAA leader.
Clemson is led on defense by safety DeAndre McDaniel, who is tied for second in the nation in interceptions with eight.
Freshman Rashard Hall has six interceptions to rank in the top 15 in the nation as well.
Defensive end Ricky Sapp was a second-team All-ACC player this year and ranks fourth in the ACC in tackles for loss with 14.
The Wildcats are led on offense by all-purpose performers Randall Cobb and Derrick Locke. While playing wide receiver and quarterback, Cobb finished the regular season second in the SEC in touchdowns; third in all-purpose yards per game; and third in punt return average. He leads the team in pass receiving (37 catches for 427 yards, 4 TD's), and rushing (537 yards, 10 TD's). Cobb averaged 13.5 yards per punt return and scored 1 TD, and he averaged 26.5 yards per return on kickoffs.
Locke leads the team in rushing and is second in the SEC in all-purpose yardage
2009 was a a year of milestone victories for the Wildcats, who won at Auburn for the first time since 1961 and at Georgia for the first time since 1977.