Bowl season won’t bring on any novel moments for the Kentucky Wildcats.

Kentucky is in the Music City Bowl on New Year’s Eve in Nashville. It will be the Wildcats’ 5th appearance in the bowl game’s quarter century of existence.

Odder still, the Wildcats will play Iowa. Yes, the same Iowa they played a year ago in the Citrus Bowl.

While the venue and matchup might be a bit stale, here’s 1 thing that will be fresh — a new look at the Wildcats vs. Hawkeyes. Here are 5 things to know about Kentucky-Iowa:

1. The history of UK-Iowa is a pretty short one

The Kentucky-Iowa football history is exactly 1 game — that Citrus Bowl a year ago. Kentucky came from behind to beat the Hawkeyes, 20-17, courtesy of 233 passing yards from Will Levis, 170 of them going to Wan’Dale Robinson in his final game as a Wildcat. Iowa’s Tyler Goodson opted out of the bowl, a situation that could be reversed this year. There’s been no official word, but speculation suggests that Levis — given his multitude of injuries in 2022 and high NFL Draft stock — could elect to sit out the game.

2. But the UK-Iowa connection is very, very real

On the other hand, while the teams have only played once, there’s a very direct Iowa influence at Kentucky. UK head coach Mark Stoops played defensive back at Iowa in the late 1980s and then was an assistant under longtime Hawkeye head coach Hayden Fry. Currently longtime Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz, who is 67 years old, might not be around much longer with the Hawkeyes. Ferentz has coached at Iowa since 1999, the 2nd year that the Music City Bowl was played. Ferentz has seemingly groomed his son, Brian, to replace him, but given that Brian Ferentz runs Iowa’s rather lackluster offense, that’s far from assured. The other link between the programs is backup QB Deuce Hogan, who transferred from Iowa to Kentucky. Hogan has played in 2 games but did not throw a pass (yet?) in 2022.

3. Iowa and UK won’t be a shootout, part I (ugly offense)

Kentucky’s 2022 season stands at 7-5, largely because the Wildcats offense has significantly struggled. UK’s 22.1 points per game is 106th in FBS and its 336.3 yards per game is 107th. But the Wildcats have been positively explosive compared to the 7-5 Hawkeyes, who are 123rd in FBS in scoring at 17.4 points per game and 130th in total yardage at 255.4 yards per game. Iowa hasn’t had 400 yards in a game all season. In fact, the Hawkeyes only managed 300 yards 3 times and finished under 170 yards on 4 occasions. Iowa is 122nd in FBS in rushing and 123rd in passing yardage. Iowa quarterback Spencer Petras is hurt, and backup Alex Padilla is in the transfer portal. So the Hawkeyes are likely to be playing their 3rd-string QB. But on the other hand …

4. Iowa and UK won’t be a shootout, part II (outstanding defense)

Like Kentucky, Iowa’s defense has carried the day. UK is 12th in FBS in scoring defense at 19.1 points per game and 18th in yardage allowed at 320.2 yards per game. But Iowa is 6th in scoring defense at 14.4 points per game and 4th in yardage allowed at 277.9 yards per game. Iowa hasn’t given up 400 yards in a game all season. Even Ohio State and Michigan put up 360 and 327 yards against the Hawkeyes, although the Buckeyes did score 54 points. Iowa has given up just 107 plays of 10-plus yards all year and only 24 plays of 20-plus yards, both of which are tops in the nation. Particularly, if Levis and/or running back Chris Rodriguez decide to opt out of the game, Kentucky won’t be putting up a ton of points, either.

5. Turnovers will likely be key

A year ago, Kentucky entered its matchup with Iowa next to worst in FBS in turnover margin at minus-13. Iowa entered the game 2nd-best in FBS at plus-14. And, of course, Iowa went minus-2 in the Citrus Bowl, turning the ball over 3 times while Kentucky threw a single interception. This year, Iowa is a more pedestrian plus-4, largely because it has forced 21 turnovers instead of the 31 it managed a year ago. Kentucky is at minus-1, largely because UK has decreased its own turnovers from 23 to 17. Kentucky is 3-1 this year when it wins the turnover battle, and Iowa is 6-1 under the same circumstances.