turbulent season ends in defeat
By Mike Gilpatrick
December 30th, 2017
December 30th, 2017
After a long a turbulent season, the Cards exit 2017 with a loss. They were defeated by 23rd-ranked Mississippi State, 31-27, in the TaxSlayer Bowl. The Cards had the lead heading into the fourth quarter; but a turnover late and two Mississippi State Touchdowns led to Louisville's loss.
Mississippi State opened scoring in the first. The Bulldogs star rusher, Aeris Williams, rushed for a five-yard touchdown. The Cards countered with a passing touchdown from Jackson to TE Charles Standberry. The Bulldogs scored a touchdown on their next drive, and the score was 14-7 after one. The Bulldogs relied heavily on the run, with 117 of their 177 yards in the trenches.
The Cards had two touchdowns in the second quarter. Their first was a 13-yard rush from Lamar Jackson. Their second was an 11-yard pass from Jackson to WR Jaylen Smith. The defense held Mississippi State to just a field goal. At halftime, the score was 21-14 Louisville.
Through the first half, Louisville trailed Mississippi State in yardage, 244-233. They only committed one penalty, though Jackson did throw two picks.
The third was defensive on both sides. The only score was a 23-yard field goal by Blanton Creque. Creque would go one for two in the quarter, and missed from 37. The score was 24-17 Louisville heading into the final quarter.
Mississippi State tied the game with 13:22 left in the game. Louisville had to settle for a field goal a few minutes later. The game was 27-24 Cardinals with 7:38 left. Then, Mississippi State scored a touchdown with 3:39 left. 31-27 Bulldogs. The Cards got the ball back, but Jackson through a pick, and Mississippi State received the ball with 2:31 left in the game. Jackson attempted the Hail Mary Pass with six seconds left, and was incomplete. The score was finalized, and Louisville finished 2017 8-5.
The most important question facing Louisville is if this was Lamar Jackson's final game as a Louisville Cardinal. He is draft eligible, and many project him to skip his Senior Season and enter. If he opts to stay, and shocks the nation, he will more than likely start Week one of Next Season.
That week one game is against the Alabama Crimson Tide, Saturday, September 1st, in Orlando, Florida.