Bulldogs rally over Louisville in TaxSlayer Bowl


Nick Fitzgerald will be forced to watch the Mississippi State bowl game from the sidelines as he recovers from a dislocated ankle, but the Bulldogs QB is trying to contribute in anyway he can.

"We didn't care if he was a freshman".

The Bulldogs (8-4), led by interim coach Greg Knox, takes on Louisville (8-4) and stud quarterback Lamar Jackson. Players ripped off jerseys in 50-degree temperatures and danced in the end zone. "A lot of preparation time gives you a lot of time scheme up some things and I think you're seeing that in the bowl games".

Louisville's defense did a good job of bailing out the Cardinals after Jackson's four interceptions, allowing just 10 points off turnovers and coming up with stops to get the ball back in the hands of the offense.

"I got to sit down with my coach and my family", Jackson said of his National Football League decision.

If he is leaving, he went out setting records.

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He is also just five players in Bucs' history to reach the Pro Bowl six or more times, so his value can't be overstated. As the head coach, it has been kind of different but Dirk is the man.

After Mississippi State got a 23-yard field goal from Jace Christmann, the Cardinals executed a lightning-quick, three-play, 88-yard touchdown drive in the final minute before halftime. He racked up 111 rushing yards in the first half.

But you knew Jackson wasn't going to be totally upstaged in this game, and sure enough, he had one of the best highlights of the game on this ankle-breaking touchdown run in the second quarter to tie the game at 14-14. He also had a flip pass to Jaylen Smith for a score.

No. 24 MSU (8-4) will meet Louisville (8-4) in the TaxSlayer Bowl 11 a.m. Saturday (ESPN) at EverBank Field, doing so just two days after the Alamo Bowl featured 76 combined points and is far from alone in shootout status.

But his interceptions overshadowed his improvisations. Jackson later followed a career-high 75-yard run with an 11-yard shovel pass for a touchdown on the next play.

Jackson, who hadn't thrown an interception since October, threw picks on back-to-back drives in the third quarter. Jackson also entered the 50-50 club with 50 career touchdowns rushing and 50 career touchdowns passing, joining Colin Kaepernick and Tim Tebow as the only players in FBS history with career totals above 50 and 50.