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No. 23 Mississippi State vs. Louisville in TaxSlayer Bowl

31 December, 2017, 02:41 | Author: Greg Wolfe
  • Mississippi State 31, Louisville 27, college football final, TaxSlayer Bowl

Thompson, a highly touted freshman making his first start in place of injured quarterback Nick Fitzgerald, ran for 147 yards and three touchdowns to help No. 23 Mississippi State beat Jackson and Louisville 31-27 in the TaxSlayer Bowl on Saturday. Thompson struggled with his accuracy against Ole Miss, but that shouldn't come as a surprise given his lack of experience. He threw just six interceptions in the regular season.

Louisville: Coach Bobby Petrino likely will have to replace Jackson, which will be no easy task.

The Bulldogs hired Penn State offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead, as Mullen's replacement, but running backs coach and special teams coordinator Greg Knox will serve as the interim head coach for this game.

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The 6-foot-3, 211-pound junior won the Heisman Trophy last season and finished third in the voting this season behind the victor, Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield, and the second-place finisher, Stanford running back Bryce Love. The defensive squad is now ranked in the Top 15 nationally in three categories, including total defense (10th - 302.0), pass defense (13th - 175.0) and opponent third-down conversion (12th -.312). Jackson has yet to declare for the National Football League draft, but most outsiders believe the dynamic junior will turn pro. Jackson even had a chance to win the game in the final minute, but Mississippi State's front seven, which had dominated most of the game, ended up winning the game on the field. West Virginia's Pat White set the previous mark with 145 yards in 2007.

If so, he went out setting more records. Only three players in FBS history have accumulated 50 touchdown passes and 50 rushing touchdowns in their career: Jackson, Tim Tebow and Colin Kaepernick. Before halftime, he also broke his own school record from 2016 with 5,139 yards total offense this season, according to ESPN Stats & Info.

The TaxSlayer Bowl featured two quarterbacks on opposite ends of the spectrum. He also has a rushing score, so that playing experience could be beneficial, especially considering the Cardinals open next season against perennial power Alabama in nearby Orlando on September 1.



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