WJTV – In a program-record eighth straight bowl game, Mississippi State is going to the TaxSlayer Bowl to take on Louisville.
The game is on Dec. 30 at 11 a.m. It will be played at EverBank Field, the home of the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars, in Jacksonville, Fla.
“We are excited to accept a bid to the TaxSlayer Bowl and cap this season off the right way,” Mississippi State athletic director John Cohen said in a release. “I want to congratulate our team for a terrific season and earning the right to play one more. We get to do it in an NFL stadium. Our group of seniors is one victory away from tying the school record for wins by a senior class. We look forward to seeing our Bulldog family turn out in Jacksonville as we play in a Florida bowl for the fifth time in eight seasons.”
Mississippi State finished 23rd in the final College Football Playoff rankings, while Louisville is unranked. The Cardinals feature 2016 Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson, one of the most dynamic players in college football. He’s totaled 4,932 yards this season, with 3,489 coming through the air and another 1,443 coming on the ground. Jackson has scored 42 total touchdowns (25 passing, 17 rushing).
He will take on a Bulldog defense that’s been one of the best in the SEC, but will now be without defensive coordinator Todd Grantham, who went to Florida with former MSU head coach Dan Mullen. Mississippi State ranks 10th in the country in total defense and 24th in scoring defense.
“This is a great opportunity for our team to go after its ninth win of the year,” said Greg Knox, who will serve as MSU’s head coach for the bowl game, in a release. “We are excited about playing an opponent the caliber of Louisville in the TaxSlayer Bowl. Our players are ready to get back to practice.”
Both MSU and Louisville are 8-4 this year. The two programs have met five times before, with the last meeting coming in 1976. Mississippi State has actually won the previous four meetings, but two of those wins were vacated (1975, 1976).
The Bulldogs will start their bowl practices on Dec. 8.