Lee Corso: Lamar Jackson should return, would be Heisman favorite

Lee Corso: Lamar Jackson should return, would be Heisman favorite

Keytaon Thompson scored three rushing touchdowns Saturday to help Mississippi State overcome the Lamar Jackson-led Louisville Cardinals to score a 31-27 victory in the 2017 TaxSlayer Bowl at EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Florida. It's the first game of the post-Dan Mullen era, with the Bulldogs taking on a former Heisman Trophy victor in Louisville QB Lamar Jackson. Junior linebacker Mark McLaurin led the way with 3 interceptions.

The win gives Mississippi State its third nine-win season (9-4) in four years after a hectic period.

Jackson completed just 13-of-31 pass attempts for 171 yards and threw two touchdowns, but also four interceptions in a 31-27 loss to Mississippi State.

TURNING POINT: The Bulldogs were threatening to take a 10-point lead into halftime as Reggie Todd hauled in a first down catch at the 10-yard line with 1:04 remaining in the second quarter. Jackson broke free for a 75-yard run, the longest of his career, and then found Jaylen Smith in the end zone for an 11-yard touchdown on the next play. He led Mississippi State to two touchdowns during the final minutes to almost pull off a comeback win in the Egg Bowl.

Louisville is entering the TaxSlayer Bowl down two defensive standouts, as cornerback Jaire Alexander and defensive lineman James Hearns have elected to skip the bowl to prepare for the NFL Draft.

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Louisville answered with a 13-play, 61-yard drive that stalled in the red zone.

It likely was Lamar Jackson's farewell performance.

"We shared some words", Thompson said. Jackson has yet to declare for the National Football League draft, but most outsiders believe the dynamic junior will turn pro.

Jackson became just the third player in FBS history - after Colin Kaepernick and Tim Tebow - to post 50 rushing touchdowns in addition to 50 passing touchdowns.

As much as the turbulence of the coaching change and interim coaching staff may have impacted MSU over recent weeks, it hasn't been the easiest of processes for Louisville, either. "Scheme-wise, it's kind of up in the air because they are under two different playcallers", Louisville coach Bobby Petrino said.

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