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31 December 2017, 02:39 | Percy Christensen
Mississippi State running back Aeris Williams has 1,019 yards this season
Louisville and Mississippi State battled to the last second in Saturday's TaxSlayer Bowl, but the Bulldogs' defense forced four interceptions by the Cardinals' star Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback, giving Mississippi State a 31-27 win at EverBank Field. It definitely was Keytaon Thompson's coming-out party.
Jackson, who hadn't thrown an interception since October, threw picks on back-to-back drives in the third quarter.
The Bulldogs hired Penn State offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead, as Mullen's replacement, but running backs coach and special teams coordinator Greg Knox will serve as the interim head coach for this game. 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.
And then there was this spectacular rushing touchdown to tie the game at 14 less than five minutes into the second quarter.
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Thompson scored twice in the fourth quarter, including a 1-yard plunge with 3:39 remaining that put the Bulldogs (9-4) ahead for good.
Thompson completed 11 of 20 passes for 127 yards.
If so, he went out setting more records. West Virginia's Pat White set the previous mark with 145 yards in 2007.
He also broke his record for rushing yards and yards from scrimmage in a season.
Still, he became the third player in Football Bowl Subdivision history with at least 50 touchdown passes and 50 touchdown runs, joining Florida's Tim Tebow and Nevada's Colin Kaepernick. The A-Train averages 4.6 yards per carry and has rushed for five scores this season. 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. Louisville WR Jaylen Smith had seven catches for 107 receiving yards.
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