East Carolina entered the game with a record of 9-4 and had been ranked as high as #15 in the AP poll during the season; Kentucky was 6-6 and unranked.
The Kentucky Wildcats defeated the East Carolina Pirates by a score of 25-19.
East Carolina led through much of the game; late in the fourth quarter Kentucky defensive tackle Ventrell Jenkins picked up a fumble and returned it 56 yards for the game winning touchdown. Jenkins was named the Most Valuable Player of the 2009 Liberty Bowl. The fumble recovery and return, marked by a vicious stiff arm Jenkins put on the opposing quarterback, received generous replay during bowl game broadcasts.