Iowa rallied in the second half, but an interception with less than a minute to play Spencer Petras threw an interception, ending the Hawkeyes’ hopes of a Citrus Bowl crown.

The offense was a problem for Iowa in Orlando, scoring just 3 points in the first half, putting the Hawkeyes in a big hole through the first 30 minutes. Though they were able to put together some nice drives in the second half, it was ultimately Kentucky that came up with the key plays.

Kentucky jumped out to a 7-0 lead, scoring a touchdown on a 13-play, 80-yard drive on its first possession. It was capped by a 5-yard pass from Will Levis to Chris Rodriguez Jr.

Iowa was able to close the gap a few drives later thanks to a 28-yard field goal from Caleb Shudak early in the second quarter. Kentucky’s Matt Ruffolo added a pair of field goals to the Wildcats’ total to take a 13-3 advantage into the locker room.

With Iowa struggling to produce anything offensively, Kentucky appeared to be in the driver’s seat.

Kirk Ferentz’s offense was finally able to gather some momentum late in the third quarter. The Hawkeyes had a 6-play, 50-yard drive to draw within 3 points, thanks to a 20-yard jaunt to the end zone from Arland Bruce IV.

On its next offensive possession, Iowa was able to take its first lead of the game thanks to a 9-play, 92-yard drive. A 36-yard touchdown pass from Petras to Sam LaPorta gave the Hawkeyes a 17-13 lead with just less than 11 minutes to play.

The Hawkeyes defense appeared to seal the game late when Jemari Harris intercepted a Will Levis pass with under 4 minutes to play. But the Kentucky defense forced a 3-and-out, giving the Wildcats one last chance to regain the lead.

An incredible 52-yard pass-and-catch from Levis to Wan’Dale Robinson — who hurdled and side-stepped a slew of Hawkeye defenders — put the Wildcats on the doorstep on the end zone. On the next play, Levis hit Rodriguez for a 6-yard touchdown pass to put Kentucky ahead 20-17 with less than 2 minutes remaining.

Though Iowa was able to get the ball into Kentucky territory, Petras tossed interception No. 3 and the Hawkeyes dropped to 10-4 on the season.

Iowa still had a tremendous season, hitting a double-digit win total for the second time in 3 seasons and reaching its first B1G Championship Game since 2015. But Saturday’s loss in the Citrus Bowl is one that will sting for a few days.