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Clemson Football

Wildcats looking forward to Gator Bowl, 'Showing the difference in SEC and the ACC'

December 21, 2023

Kentucky offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Liam Coen spoke to the media after the Wildcats practice on Monday. Coen was joined by senior offensive lineman Marques Cox and senior tight end Brenden Bates. 

Liam Coen on facing a top-10 Clemson defense without a few starters: 

“They’re very much built like an SEC program. They've got a ton of depth up front specifically. They've got true freshmen that have played really well and played at a high level all year. Obviously, having Trotter [Jeremiah] out is big. He's a heck of a football player. Number 33 [Ruke Orhorhoro], the defensive tackle, a heck of a football player. Number two [Nate Wiggins], the corner, heck of a football player. So and then number 1 [Andrew Mukuba], the safety, that went in the portal. Those guys are all really good football players, but they're deep.

"It's a great challenge for us being able to go and play Clemson because they aren't built at all like the majority of teams in that conference -- being honest."

On having senior running back Ray Davis, who announced he would be entering the 2024 NFL Draft, available for the game. Davis rushed for 1,066 yards with 13 touchdowns and a combined 20 touchdowns (7 receiving), tops in the SEC and a Kentucky single-season record:

“Huge. Ray is a guy who has been extremely successful this year for us. Dynamic with the ball in his hands. When you score 20 touchdowns and lead the SEC in total touchdowns that's a special feat and I've been really pleased with him making that decision to come back when he doesn't really have to. It's the right decision for the kid that he is. It doesn't surprise me -- being the teammate that he is, being the kid that he is. It doesn't surprise us at all. It gives you another playmaker to get the ball in his hands and go win this football game."

Marques Cox on the Tigers defensive line: 

"They're big, athletic. They can move a little bit everywhere with slants and stuff. They got really good players -- still trying to figure out who's opting out or who's not. but they're a really good front, a really young front. We just got to hone into our details and hone into what we got to do and make out this game with a 'W'."

Brenden Bates on whether having Clemson as the opponent was a factor in the lack of opt-outs for the game: 

"I think that's why, first of all, everyone's playing in this game. Clemson is a big-time team. Big-time name. So, I think everyone's really looking forward to it and showing the difference in SEC and the ACC."

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Wildcats looking forward to Gator Bowl, 'Showing the difference in SEC and the ACC'

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