Life without Dan Mullen will begin for Mississippi State in the 2017 TaxSlayer Bowl against Louisville.
Mullen may not be the individual the Bulldogs miss most in this game, however. That honor goes to injured quarterback Nick Fitzgerald, whose dislocated his right ankle in the Egg Bowl against Ole Miss.
Filling in for Fitzgerald, as he did against the Rebels, will be freshman Keytaon Thompson. Against Ole Miss — his most extensive playing time of the season — Thompson completed 13 of 27 passes for 195 yards to go along with 1 touchdown and 1 interception. He also added 121 yards and a touchdown on the ground in the Bulldogs’ 31-28 loss.
Thompson will not be the biggest name at quarterback for this game, however, as the Bulldogs will have to contend with 2016 Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson and the Louisville Cardinals. Bobby Petrino’s Cardinals come into the game on a three-game win streak, and fresh off a dominant 44-17 victory against archrival Kentucky.
The TaxSlayer Bowl will be played on Saturday, December 30, at EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Fla. The game will kickoff at noon ET on ESPN.
This will be the first time Mississippi State and Louisville have played since 1976, when the two teams played four consecutive years. Those four games are the only times the teams have ever faced off. If history is any indication of how this game will go, then Bulldogs fans should be feeling pretty confident; Mississippi State won all four of those matchups by an average of nearly 21 points, though two of those victories were later forfeited because of NCAA violations.
Mississippi State football 2017 schedule & results
|Charleston Southern||49-0 W|
|Louisiana Tech||57-21 W|
|Texas A&M||35-14 W|
|Ole Miss||31-28 L|
|Overall Record||8-4 (4-4 SEC)|
Mississippi State recent bowl results
|2016||St. Petersburg Bowl||Miami (OH)||17-16 W|
|2015||Belk Bowl||N.C. State||51-28 W|
|2014||Orange Bowl||Georgia Tech||49-34 L|
|2013||Liberty Bowl||Rice||44-7 W|
|2012||Gator Bowl||Northwestern||34-20 L|