NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Mississippi State dropped a 38-28 decision to Louisville on Monday in the Music City Bowl.
Tommy Stevens, in his final game as a Bulldog, led Mississippi State’s offensive attack, registering 221 yards through the air and 71 on the ground. Stephen Guidry was the Bulldogs’ leading receiver, notching 76 yards on six receptions as he accounted for one touchdown. Guidry’s six catches matched his career-high, set earlier this season against LSU on Oct. 19.
Willie Gay Jr. paced the Bulldog defense with a career-high 11 total tackles, all of which were solo. Marcus Murphy and Tim Washington followed with 10 and eight stops, respectively.
Kobe Jones tallied two sacks, the most of his career, while Marquiss Spencer and Aaron Brule each recorded one. Brule’s sack marked the first of his career. Gay Jr. forced a fumble that was recovered by Washington, for the first fumble recovery of his career. Gay Jr. has recorded an interception, forced fumble or fumble recovery in seven of his last nine games.
With Washington’s takeaway, State has collected at least one takeaway in 26 of their last 29 games and has compiled 51 over the stretch. State raced out to a 14-0 lead at the 10:19 mark in the second quarter after a pair of rushing touchdowns by seniors Stevens and Nick Gibson.
Louisville found the endzone four times and added a field goal for 31 unanswered points in the second, third and fourth quarters to gain a 31-14 advantage with 13:52 remaining in the contest. Stevens led the Bulldogs on a 75-yard march to the endzone, highlighted by a 23-yard pass to Osirus Mitchell and two receptions by Farrod Greenand Geor’quarius Spivey that resulted in 20 yards.
The drive culminated with an 18-yard pass to Guidry to cut the Cardinals’ lead to 31-21 at the 10:25 mark. Louisville exten ded their lead to 17 as J_ Hawkins capped off a six-play 1:47 drive with a 5-yard rush into the endzone. Hawkins also recorded a 24-yard rush during the drive. Stevens scampered 22 yards before connecting on a 20-yard pass to Guidry and 16-yard pass to Green to land at Louisville’s 35-yard line. Three plays later, Stevens found Mitchell from 24 yards out to bring the Bulldogs to a final margin of 38-28.
The Bulldogs open the 2020 campaign at home on Sept. 5, welcoming New Mexico to Davis Wade Stadium.