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Freshman QB Keytaon Thompson leads Mississippi State past Louisville in TaxSlayer Bowl

31 December 2017

The Mississippi State Bulldogs take on the Louisville Cardinals in the TaxSlayer Bowl.

True freshman Keytaon Thompson guided MSU on a 11-play touchdown drive with 3:39 remaining to lift the Bulldogs to a 31-27 victory.

Jackson, the 2016 Heisman Trophy victor, had different emotions after probably ending his college career with a loss. Jackson, though, was undone by four interceptions, including three by safety Mark McLaurin - the game's MVP.

Jackson finished the game with 158 rushing yards on the back of a career-long 75-yard run, and in doing so, he joined Vince Young as the only quarterbacks in FBS history to rush for at least 150 yards in multiple bowl games.

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On the surface, the touchdown was great for the Cardinals. That mark was also a new TaxSlayer Bowl record for rushing yards, breaking the previous mark set by West Virginia's Pat White.

Jackson matched Thompson's touchdown run with one of his own to start the third quarter, tying the score 14-14. They had an interim coaching staff and were without their star quarterback, but yet it was Mississippi State that looked like the more composed team in the bowl game. Players doused Knox, who many expect to join Mullen in Gainesville, and danced shirtless in the end zone.

Jackson made two ridiculous cut moves during a 13-yard run to pull Louisville into a 14-14 tie. Louisville answered with a nine-play, 51-yard touchdown drive, which was punctuated by a 5-yard touchdown pass from Jackson to Charles Standberry.

Meanwhile, Jackson likely ended a memorable college career with a uncharacteristically sloppy performance filled with plenty of brilliant moments.

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Jackson said he still has to decide whether to leave early for the National Football League draft, but clearly has nothing left to prove at the college level.

"I got to sit down with my coach and my family", he said. 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.

"We knew that's what he did best", Knox said.

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Freshman QB Keytaon Thompson leads Mississippi State past Louisville in TaxSlayer Bowl