The 2017 Music City Bowl will have a huge exhibit at the eventual Museum of College Football Stupidity.
Early in the second quarter, Kentucky running back (and most important offensive player) Benny Snell was knocked down. A referee tried to help Snell up. Snell refused. Snell was ejected.
Yup. It’s every bit as absurd and stupid as it sounds. In a sport where the players are already egregiously mistreated off the field, it’s reprehensible that something like this can happen on the field where the players are supposed to be the stars. No one came Nashville to see the referees. They came to see Benny Snell.
The referee offered a terrible explanation after the game.
Music City Bowl referee Chris Coyte on Benny Snell ejection: "The player got up and grabbed my arms and pushed them away and contacted me. That’s a foul."— Adam Sparks (@AdamSparks) December 30, 2017
The other big story from this game was Northwestern quarterback Clayton Thorson getting carted off with a severe injury to his leg or knee area. Thorson didn't return after the hit in the second quarter, and it looked pretty bad. Thorson didn't go to the hospital, but there will be no update on his status until after the MRI.
Other than those two heinous occurrences, it was a pretty fun game!
Stephen Johnson pulled Kentucky within one point with a minute to go after his second rushing touchdown of the game. Since bowl games are all just glorified exhibitions, Mark Stoops kept the offense on the field for a two-point conversion. It failed. Northwestern won, 24-23.
Northwestern running back Justin Jackson excelled in his final collegiate game, picking up 157 yards on 32 carries.
Despite the loss, Kentucky went to a bowl for the second straight year and pushed Northwestern to the edge without their best player.