Mississippi State

Mississippi State will battle Louisville in the Taxslayer Bowl

Louisville wide receiver Jaylen Smith is a former Pascagoula High standout.
Louisville wide receiver Jaylen Smith is a former Pascagoula High standout. Associated Press

Mississippi State will be playing its first bowl game without former coach Dan Mullen.

The Bulldogs (8-4) will meet Louisville in the Taxslayer Bowl at 11 a.m. on Dec. 30 at EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Fla. ESPN will televise the contest between SEC and ACC schools.

Louisville (8-4) is led by former Pascagoula High wide receiver Jaylen Smith. The junior has caught 53 passes for 873 yards and six TDs this season to lead the Cardinal receivers. He also made All-ACC honors

MSU will be playing in its eighth straight bowl, but first without coach Dan Mullen during this span. New coach Joe Moorhead won’t coach the bowl game, leaving coaching duties to Greg Knox. The Bulldogs’ running back and special teams coordinator was named interim coach after Mullen took the Florida job.

“This is a great opportunity for our team to go after its ninth win of the year,” Knox said in a release. “We are excited about playing an opponent the caliber of Louisville. Our players are ready to get back to practice.”

Keytaon Thompson will start at quarterback for MSU, taking over for the injured Nick Fitzgerald. The junior dislocated his ankle in the Bulldogs’ 31-28 Egg Bowl loss to Ole Miss and recently had surgery.

The Cardinals’ offense features quarterback Lamar Jackson, last year’s Heisman Trophy winner. The junior has thrown for 3,903 yards, 27 touchdowns with only eight interceptions. He’s also rushed for 1,671 yards and 18 more scores to lead the Cardinals, coached by Bobby Petrino.

Former Pascagoula High standout Jaylen Smith has caught 53 passes for 873 yards and six TDs this season to lead the Cardinal receivers. The junior also made All-ACC honors.

Bowl invitations, including the two College playoff games, were announced Sunday.

James Jones: 228-896-2320, @_jkjones

  Comments