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NCAA Game Summary - Kentucky vs. Clemson



(Sunday, December 27th)

Final Score: Clemson 21, Kentucky 13

Nashville, TN (Sports Network) - C.J. Spiller and Jamie Harper combined for 251 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns, as Clemson captured the Music City Bowl with a 21-13 win over Kentucky at LP Field.

Spiller ran for 67 yards and added 58 yards receiving and became the only player in FBS this year to score a touchdown in every game. His score came on the ground, and his 7,588 total yards from scrimmage in his college career ranks second on the all-time list. He also recorded 47 yards on kick returns.

"I really felt better about coming into this game than I felt my freshman year," Spiller said. "I think the seniors really wanted to go out with a win."

Harper added 79 yards on eight carries for Clemson (9-5), which snapped a three bowl-game losing streak. Kyle Parker completed 8-of-14 passes for 141 yards and a score and did not throw an interception in the win.

Morgan Newton completed 13-of-23 passes for 98 yards and a score for the Wildcats (7-6), who finished their season with two straight losses after winning five of six. Derrick Locke led the team in rushing and receiving, with 64 yards on 18 carries and 30 more yards on six catches.

"I've told my team that 80 percent I'm probably not coming back," said Kentucky head coach Rich Brooks on his future with the school. "I'm going to think about it. I've got my family coming home with me, and I'm going to talk about it. I'll decide in probably four-to-five days or a week."

The Wildcats received a punt deep in their own territory early in the fourth quarter, but Gene McCaskill fumbled a reception on the first play, which was recovered by Clemson at the 19-yard line.

On the ensuing series, Spiller ran around the right end for an eight-yard touchdown and a 21-13 Clemson lead with 10:14 to play.

Kentucky looked to tie the game, using a fake punt on 4th-and-3 from the Clemson 43 to gain nine yards for a first down. The Wildcats then faced a 4th- and-8 from the 32, but Newton could scramble for only seven yards, coming up just short in an attempt to keep the drive alive.

Clemson took over with 5 1/2 minutes left and was able to use Spiller and Harper to run down the remaining time on the clock to seal the win.

Kentucky drove 61 yards in seven plays on its opening possession, resulting in a 17-yard touchdown reception by Chris Matthews for an early lead five minutes into the game.

Clemson tied the game late in the first quarter using a couple big plays. On 2nd-and-5 from the Tigers' 15, Spiller went 40 yards on a reception, and two plays later Jacoby Ford hauled in a 32-yard touchdown catch for a 7-7 contest.

The Wildcats opened the second quarter with a 12-play, 51-yard drive that ended with Lones Seiber's 39-yard field goal and a 10-7 advantage.

The Tigers started their next drive from their own 38, and Harper had rushes of 26 and 33 yards, respectively, on the first two plays to gain the Kentucky three-yard line. Three plays later, Harper bowled in from one yard away to give Clemson a 14-10 lead, which would hold up through halftime.

Seiber brought Kentucky to within one on the opening series of the second half, capping a 10-play drive with a 44-yard field goal five minutes into the period.

Richard Jackson missed short on a 44-yard field goal attempt for Clemson at the other end, and the teams traded punts leading up the fourth quarter.

Game Notes

Kentucky still leads the all-time series, 8-5...This was the first meeting between the schools since 2006...Clemson had 321 yards of total offense, compared to 277 for the Wildcats.

12/28 01:48:09 ET

Lexington, KY local and state news by the Lexington Herald-Leader | Kentucky.com
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