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TaxSlayer Bowl Preview and Prediction: Louisville vs. Mississippi State

31 December, 2017, 02:40 | Author: Christina Hansen
  • Mississippi State 31, Louisville 27, college football final, TaxSlayer Bowl

One of the games you will definitely want to tune in to on Saturday afternoon will be the 2017 TaxSlayer Bowl between the Louisville Cardinals (8-4) and the No. 24 Mississippi State Bulldogs (8-4).

It likely was Lamar Jackson's farewell performance.

"It's been a great week of preparation", interim head coach Greg Knox said.

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A year after winning the Heisman Trophy, Cardinals quarterback Lamar Jackson finished third earlier this month behind victor Baker Mayfield (Oklahoma) and runner-up Bryce Love (Stanford). 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 matched Thompson's touchdown run with one of his own to start the third quarter, tying the score 14-14.

Mississippi State (9-4) took an early 7-0 lead, scoring rather easily on a 56-yard drive capped by an Aeris Williams 5-yard run. Jackson has yet to declare for the National Football League draft, but most outsiders believe the dynamic junior will turn pro. Last year, Mississippi State beat Miami (Ohio) 17-16 in the St. Petersburg Bowl.

If he is leaving, he went out setting records. Be sure to tune in to ESPN at 12:00 p.m. ET on December 30 to see Louisville take on Mississippi State in the 2017 TaxSlayer Bowl in Jacksonville.

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He also broke his record for rushing yards and yards from scrimmage in a season.

That set off a wild and tearful celebration for Mississippi State, which stuck together despite losing coach Dan Mullen and a number of assistants to Florida. But freshman Jawon Pass has completed 23 of 33 passes for 238 yards, with two touchdowns and no interceptions this season.

Jackson became just the third player in FBS history - after Colin Kaepernick and Tim Tebow - to post 50 rushing touchdowns in addition to 50 passing touchdowns. Louisville WR Jaylen Smith had seven catches for 107 receiving yards.

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