|1976 Peach Bowl|
|December Bowl Game|
|Date||December 31, 1976|
|Stadium||Fulton County Stadium|
|MVP|| Offense: RB Rod Stewart (Kentucky)|
Defense: LB Mike Martin (Kentucky)
|Favorite||Kentucky favored by 6|
|United States TV coverage|
|Network||Mizlou Television Network|
| Peach Bowl
1976 Peach Bowl was a postseason college football match between the Kentucky Wildcats and the North Carolina Tar Heels at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia. The University of Kentucky represented the Southeastern Conference (SEC) and North Carolina represented the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) in the competition. The game was the final competition of the 1976 football season for each team and resulted in a 21–0 Kentucky victory. The Vegas line on the game favored Kentucky by 6 points.
North Carolina entered the game with a 9-2 record and a ranking of #18 in the Associated Press poll after having been ranked as high as #14 during the season; Kentucky entered with a record of 7-4 and unranked.
Neither team scored during the first half. Two Kentucky drives ended deep in North Carolina territory with no score.
In the third quarter North Carolina quarterback Matt Kupec fumbled at the North Carolina 21; Kentucky's James Ramey recovered. Seven plays later Kentucky running back Rod Stewart took it in for a one yard touchdown. John Pierce's PAT gave Kentucky a 7-0 lead.
Early in the fourth quarter Kentucky drove 57 yards in 9 plays and Stewart scored on a 13 yard TD run. Pierce's PAT made it 14-0 with 13:01 left.
Kentucky's last scoring drive of 47 yards saw a fourth and one on the North Carolina 3 with just under 3 minutes on the clock for a third Stewart TD. The PAT made it Kentucky 21, North Carolina 0.
Stewart's 3 TDs tied a Peach Bowl record and his 104 yards rushing won him the game's MVP award. Kentucky linebacker Mike Martin was the defensive MVP.
After the game, North Carolina fell out of the AP Top 20 and Kentucky finished the season ranked #18. The following season Kentucky went 10-1 and finished #6 in the final AP poll; North Carolina finished the season 8-3-1 after a loss in the Liberty Bowl.
Kentucky outgained North Carolina 334 yards to 109; the Wildcat defense held the Tar Heels to a total of five first downs and the Wildcats forced five turnovers.
- 2001 Kentucky Wildcats Football Media Guide, '1976 Peach Bowl', p. 166
- 1976 Peach Bowl Highlights on YouTube
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 2001 Kentucky Wildcats Football Media Guide, '1976 Peach Bowl', p. 166
- ↑ Phil Steele's 1998 College Football Preview, p. 67
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 "AP Poll Archive". Archived from the original on 2009-05-05. http://www.webcitation.org/5gYGhPijv. Retrieved 2009-03-31.
- ↑ "North Carolina 1976 footballs results". Archived from the original on 2009-05-05. http://www.webcitation.org/5gYGhoA8c. Retrieved 2009-03-31.