In a performance that will forever serve as a microcosm of the year it was bookending, the Louisville football team fell to Mississippi State in the TaxSlayer Bowl Saturday afternoon, 31-27.
The same Mississippi State that was playing without its head coach, top assistants, star quarterback and top wide receiver ... that same Mississippi State got the better of the Cardinals in Jacksonville.
It was an undeserved ending to one of the greatest college football careers any of us have ever seen, and likely the greatest individual college career we’ll ever see from a Louisville player. Lamar Jackson made some spectacular runs, but he had as poor a passing game as we’ve seen from him since last year’s bowl game. He tossed four interceptions for the first time in his career, and failed to throw the ball away on a handful of occasions when it could have saved U of L huge yardage.
The late-game clock management was once again underwhelming from Bobby Petrino, who fell to 1-10 against ranked opponents during his second stint at Louisville. With the ultimate offensive weapon finally under his direction, Petrino could manage an overall record of just 25-14, a fact which is certain to be cited by many throughout the offseason.
The Louisville defense also reverted to its former self, allowing a true freshman quarterback with next to no game experience to guide the Mississippi State offense to 31 points. The Bulldogs rushed for 277 yards as a team, with said quarterback, Keytaon Thompso, accounting for 147 yards of that. That moved Louisville to 0-7 all-time in bowl games where an opposing player rushes for at least 110 yards.
Look I’m already dead inside so I’m not sure exactly what else to say here.
Today was bad, the year was bad, next year might not be better. I don’t know, try and take your mind off it and have some fun this holiday weekend.
We want Bama?