The Mississippi State Bulldogs held a 14-0 lead in the early goings of the Music City Bowl.
Everything then promptly fell apart, as the Bulldogs let up 31 answered to the Louisville Cardinals. The Bulldogs were able to scrap back together, but only got to within 10. The Cardinals finished off a whale of a season with a 38-28 win over the Bulldogs, who sputtered into a miserable end to a pretty miserable season.
Things were looking rather good for Mississippi State after the first two scores. Tommy Stevens and Nick Gibson each plowed into the end zone from three yards out to put the Bulldogs up two scores. They just could not seem to get it going after that though, especially on defense.
Louisville punted the ball away with 14:08 to go in the second quarter. They would not punt again until halfway through the fourth. The Cardinals went touchdown, turnover on downs, field goal, field goal attempt, and then three consecutive drives were finished with touchdowns stretching into the fourth quarter. State’s defense simply fell apart, and they couldn’t muster up enough of an attack on offense to stay pace.
Micale Cunningham was on point for the Cards. Louisville’s QB went 16-for-23 for 279 yards and tossed two touchdowns, both to tight end Marshon Ford. Cunningham also rushed for 81 yards on 16 carries, good for a team-high 5.1 yards per carry. Javian Hawkins led with 105 rushing yards.
A tough year for Mississippi State ended about as poorly as it could have. Year 3 of the Joe Moorhead Era will be fascinating to watch in many regards, as the last two years have certainly not gone their way.