#23 Mississippi State defeats Louisville 31-27 in the TaxSlayer Bowl

Mississippi State players get a catered barbecue lunch before touring ships at the Mayport Naval Base

He had the longest run of his career, a 75-yarder late in the second quarter, and a 13-yard TD scamper earlier in the game in which he split two defenders and made another look silly. It definitely was Keytaon Thompson's coming-out party.

Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson might have played his final game in college football, and while etched his name into the record books in a few more spots, the TaxSlayer Bowl was not the finest performance from the 2016 Heisman Trophy victor and 2017 Heisman Trophy finalist. Williams is now just 47 yards shy of tying Anthony Dixon for 10th place in MSU single-season history.

Mississippi State had no shortage of excuses to mail it in against Louisville in the TaxSlayer Bowl.

Louisville enters play at 8-4 (4-4) on the season.

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Up 21-17 at the half despite being out-gained 244-223 and converting on just two of seven third downs, Louisville added to its lead with a 23-yard field goal by Blanton Creque with 3:14 left in the third quarter. Jackson has yet to declare for the National Football League draft, but most outsiders believe the dynamic junior will turn pro.

Jackson ran 24 times for 158 yards and a touchdown, breaking the TaxSlayer Bowl record for most rushing yards by a quarterback.

Thompson completed 11 of 20 passes for 127 yards, with an interception. Before halftime, he also broke his own school record from 2016 with 5,139 yards total offense this season, according to ESPN Stats & Info.

They enter this game ranked 23rd in the country in rushing, averaging 249.9 yards per game. Jackson joins former Florida quarterback Tim Tebow and Nevada's Colin Kaepernick as the only players to accomplish the feat.

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Louisville: Jackson needed more help - from his running backs, his receivers and his defense.

Louisville: Coach Bobby Petrino likely will have to replace Jackson, which will be no easy task. The A-Train averages 4.6 yards per carry and has rushed for five scores this season.

For new Mississippi State coach Joe Moorhead, this game is incredibly encouraging for the future of the Bulldogs program.

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