All jokes aside, the 2022 Transperfect Music City Bowl between Iowa and Kentucky has to be one of the most intriguing matchups of the bowl season. You have two dominant defensive units facing off in a rematch of the Citrus Bowl last season. On paper, the bowl matchup between Kentucky and Iowa has the potential to deliver one of the greatest defensive battles in the history of college football. It won’t be pretty football; it will be old-school football that will excite the traditionalist of the sport. Last season, Kentucky and Iowa went down to the final few possessions before Kentucky sneaked past the Hawkeyes to earn a 20-17 win.
Both Kentucky and Iowa have struggled to find consistency this season. Both have bad losses to teams they should have beaten, yet the excitement around the bowl matchup is real. Like last season, a win over the other and a happy off-season will follow.
Not to mention, the storylines to watch out for write themselves. Iowa comes into the Kentucky game with revenge on their minds after the Hawkeyes had their season end in 2021 heartbreakingly to the Wildcats. Not to mention, Mark Stoops, on several occasions, has been tossed around as the Head Coach that would replace the legendary Kirk Ferentz. Coach Stoops played his college career at Iowa.
We saw it last season in the Citrus Bowl; there’s mutual respect between the two programs. Historically speaking, Kentucky and Iowa are identical. Both programs are in conferences that are dominated by a few elite. Both programs have histories of great success but also great heartbreak.
As far as the matchup goes, Kentucky and Iowa have defensive units that immediately strike fear into rival teams. However, Iowa will be without its starting Quarterback Spencer Petras. That alone could be the difference maker for the Hawkeyes as they try to keep up with Kentucky.
For Kentucky, it all comes down to the decision to play or not to play by Will Levis. If Kentucky has Will Levis in the bowl game, the Wildcats will have a significant advantage over Iowa. However, if Will Levis decides to sit out of the 2022 Transperfect Music City Bowl, things could get interesting for the Wildcats.
It will be a physical matchup between the Wildcats and Hawkeyes; there’s no way around it. Who wins this matchup will be determined in the trenches playing smash-mouth football. It won’t be a bowl game for the weak; either team will have to punch the other in the mouth before delivering the final blow in the closing positions.