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December 5, 2010

UK to face Pitt in BBVA Compass Bowl in Birmingham

Kentucky will face Pittsburgh in the BBVA Compass Bowl on Jan. 8 in Birmingham, Ala., the schools and bowl announced Sunday.

The game, which matches a Southeastern Conference team against a Big East opponent, will be played at noon EST (11 a.m. CST) at Legion Field. It will be televised by ESPN.

UK (6-6) will be playing in its fifth consecutive bowl game and 15th overall.

The Panthers (7-5, 5-2 Big East) tied Connecticut and West Virginia for first place in the conference standings but UConn earned the league's automatic bid to a Bowl Championship Series game due to tiebreakers.

"It will be a huge challenge and an exciting time for our football program to play in the BBVA Compass Bowl," UK coach Joker Phillips said. "I've had a chance to watch Pitt numerous times. Their running attack is very strong and their quarterback (Tino Sunseri) has completed more than 65 percent of his passes.

"I know Coach (Dave) Wannstedt is a defensive-minded coach. They rank 11th in the nation (in total defense), so they will be great on defense."

The Wildcats have played in bowls in Birmingham twice before, participating in the 1983 and 1984 Hall of Fame Bowls at Legion Field. Phillips was a player on those teams that played against West Virginia and Wisconsin, respectively, in the Hall of Fame bowls.

This will be Pitt's first game against an SEC opponent since 1983, when it won at Tennessee.

The Wildcats are 8-6 in bowl games, including a 21-13 loss to Clemson in last season's Music City Bowl that snapped a three-game, three-year postseason winning streak.

"As we continue to grow our football program at Kentucky, it is our privilege to be invited to the BBVA Compass Bowl," UK athletic director Mitch Barnhart said. "We are excited to play in Birmingham, the home of the Southeastern Conference office and a historic stadium at Legion Field, and have the opportunity for our players, coaches, families and fans to enjoy a city that has a great football tradition and a place in our nation's history. We look forward to this event and the challenge of playing an outstanding team from the University of Pittsburgh."

Here is ticket information for UK fans, according to the school:

*Season-ticket holders should already have a bowl application sent through e-mail and U.S. mail. UK season-ticket holders may order tickets by mail, fax (859-323-1269) or online through their "My UK" account by Tuesday at 4 p.m. Ticket applications also can be delivered in-person to the UK Ticket Office at the Joe Craft Center, which is open Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

*Non-season-ticket holders may access an application online at UKathletics.com. Those applications should be mailed or faxed (859-323-1269) by Friday at 4 p.m. Non-season-ticket holders also may order tickets in-person at the UK Ticket Office.

*Fans also may call the UK Ticket Office at 800-928-2287, Monday through Friday from 9 to 4. Because of the anticipated large number of phone calls, UK encourages fans to order tickets via mail, fax, online, or in person at the ticket office.




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