Lamar Jackson Struggles as Mississippi St. Beats Louisville in TaxSlayer Bowl

Live updates: No. 23 Mississippi State vs. Louisville in TaxSlayer Bowl

Lamar Jackson Struggles as Mississippi St. Beats Louisville in TaxSlayer Bowl

It was Thompson's first career start since the 2016 Louisiana state championship game and yet he was in total control early, leading Mississippi State right down the field for touchdowns on the first two possessions of the game. It definitely was Keytaon Thompson's coming-out party. The Cardinals may not have had the hot start they had a year ago, but they still have the best player playing in this game in 2016 Heisman Trophy victor Lamar Jackson. He threw just six interceptions in the regular season.

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

Mississippi State: Senior left tackle Martinas Rankin, expected to be the team's highest draft pick, sprained an ankle and was ruled out for the game.

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The No. 4 Bulldogs were without a head coach, offensive or defensive coordinator and their usual starting quarterback.

POINT MAN: Thompson carried 27 times for 147 yards and three touchdowns and also completed 11 of 20 passes for 127 yards and one interception. Jackson has yet to declare for the National Football League draft, but most outsiders believe the dynamic junior will turn pro.

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

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He also broke his record for rushing yards and yards from scrimmage in a season. Only three players in FBS history have accumulated 50 touchdown passes and 50 rushing touchdowns in their career: Jackson, Tim Tebow and Colin Kaepernick. Turning in a career season, Aeris Williams ranks sixth in the SEC with 1,019 yards rushing to become the first MSU running back to rush for over 1,000 yards in a season since Josh Robinson in 2014.

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

Louisville: Coach Bobby Petrino likely will have to replace Jackson, which will be no easy task. Louisville WR Jaylen Smith had seven catches for 107 receiving yards.

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