Kentucky quarterback Lynn Bowden Jr. threw a touchdown pass to Josh Ali with 15 seconds left to push the Wildcats past Virginia Tech 37-30 in the 2019 Belk Bowl played Tuesday afternoon at Bank of America Stadium.

With the loss, the Hokies closed the season with an 8-5 record. Kentucky also finished the season with an 8-5 mark.

Virginia Tech took a 30-24 lead on a 27-yard field goal by Brian Johnson with 12:47 remaining, but the Wildcats answered with their game-winning drive after taking possession following a Tech punt with 8:25 remaining. Kentucky marched 85 yards in 18 plays, converting twice on fourth down and scoring on Bowden’s 13-yard touchdown pass to Ali. The Wildcats made the extra point to take a 31-30 lead.

Kentucky’s Akeem Hayes returned a fumble 28 yards for a touchdown on the game’s final play to account for the final margin.

Tech tailback Deshawn McClease paced the Hokies, rushing for a career-high 126 yards and scored on a 43-yard run in the third quarter, while Hendon Hooker completed 12 of 22 for 110 yards and two scores. He completed touchdown passes of 18 yards to Damon Hazelton in the first quarter and 6 yards to Dalton Keene in the second quarter.

The Hokies finished with 329 yards of offense.

Bowden, the game’s MVP, rushed for 233 yards and two touchdowns on 34 carries to lead Kentucky, which rushed for 331 yards and finished with 404 total yards.

The game is the last for long time Hokie Defensive Coordinator Bud Foster, who will be retiring after this season.

 

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Kool Ford