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The Great Lakes Bowl was a college football bowl game that was played only once, on December 6, 1947 in Cleveland, Ohiomarker between the University of Kentucky and Villanova University.

The Kentucky Wildcats of the Southeastern Conference was in its second season under coach Paul "Bear" Bryant. Kentucky brought a 7-3 record into the game, their only losses coming to Mississippimarker (ranked #13 in the final AP poll of the season), Alabamamarker (ranked #6 in the final AP poll of the season) and Tennesseemarker.

The Villanova Wildcats, coached by Jordan Oliver, brought a 6-2-1 record into the game, having lost to Army and Boston Collegemarker. It was the first bowl appearance for Kentucky and the second for Villanova, which in 1936 tied Auburnmarker 7-7 in the Bacardi Bowl in Havanamarker, Cubamarker. Neither team was ranked entering the game, though Kentucky had spent three weeks in the AP top twenty in October, rising as high as #13.

The game was played at Cleveland Stadiummarker with attendance of 14,908.

In the first quarter Kentucky's George Blanda kicked a 27 yard field goal. At halftime Kentucky led 3-0. In the third quarter Kentucky's Jim Howe had a 29 yard touchdown run; Blanda's point after kick gave Kentucky a 10-0 lead. In the fourth quarter, Kentucky's Bill Boller had a 15 yard touchdown run on offense and on defense returned an interception 49 yards for a touchdown. Blanda hit both extra point attempts to give Kentucky a 24-0 lead. Villanova also scored two late touchdowns late in the fourth quarter. Andy Gordon threw a 9 yard touchdown pass to John Sheehan to make it Kentucky 24, Villanova 7. Ralph Pasquariello had a 10 yard touchdown run for the game's last score. The final score was Kentucky 24, Villanova 14.

The Great Lakes Bowl was never played again. Oddly, Villanova's first two bowl appearances were in bowl games that were only played once, and in cities that never again hosted a college bowl game. Kentucky and Villanova met again in the regular season the following year. They tied 13-13 in Lexington, Kentuckymarker, on November 6, 1948.

Game result

Date Winning Team Losing Team
December 6, 1947 Kentuckymarker 24 Villanovamarker 14

See also


  1. Foldesy, Jody. "Bowls burgeon as big business", The Washington Times. December 21, 1997. Page A1.

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