Mississippi State vs Louisville
When: 4:00 PM ET, Monday, December 30, 2019
Where: Nissan Stadium, Nashville, Tennessee
Preview for Digital Sports Desk by Gracenote
MUSIC CITY BOWL STORYLINES
- Record-setting running backs will take the stage when Mississippi State plays Louisville in the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl in Nashville, Tenn., on Wednesday, Dec. 30, at Nissan Stadium. The Bulldogs feature junior Kylin Hill, who led the SEC in rushing (1,347 rushing yards – eighth among Power Five schools) and needs 45 yards to set the school single-season record (Anthony Dixon – 1,391; 2009). The Cardinals will counter with Javian Hawkins, who set a single-season Louisville freshman rushing record with 1,420 yards – the fourth-best mark in school history.
- Mississippi State will be playing in a school-record 10th straight bowl game and is 13-9 all-time, while the Cardinals are making their 18th appearance in the last 22 years and are 9-11-1 all-time. Both teams have played in the Music City Bowl once before. The Bulldogs beat Wake Forest 23-17 in 2011 behind 180 yards and two TDs from Vick Ballard and Louisville knocked off Texas A&M 27-21 in 2015 behind 226 yards rushing by Lamar Jackson.
- The Bulldogs enter having won three of their last four games to become bowl-eligible, including a thrilling 21-20 victory over rival Ole Miss on Thanksgiving night in the Battle for the Golden Egg. Louisville, under first-year coach and ACC Coach of the Year Scott Satterfield, improved from 2-10 last season and became only the second ACC team ever to go from 0-8 in league play to 5-3 the following season. The Bulldogs lead the all-time series 3-2, and won the last matchup 31-27 in the 2017 Gator Bowl.
TV: 4 p.m. ET. LINE: Mississippi State -4.
ABOUT MISSISSIPPI STATE (6-6): Hill averaged 5.7 yards per carry, scored 10 touchdowns and was followed in the rushing department by true freshman quarterback Garrett Shrader (587 yards and six TDs). Schrader (57.5 percent, 1,170 yards passing, eight TDs, five interceptions), who rushed for two touchdowns on Thanksgiving night against Ole Miss, has been taking reps with the first team over banged-up grad transfer quarterback Tommy Stevens (934 yards passing, nine TDs, five interceptions). “We had a ton of energy, a ton of urgency, great competition, developmental nature and giving the younger guys a bunch of reps,” coach Joe Moorhead said after the Bulldogs’ first practice in preparation for the game. “The kids are excited for this game, and so is the coaching staff.”
ABOUT LOUISVILLE (7-5): Hawkins, who averaged 5.9 yards per carry, who scored eight touchdowns and finished third in the ACC in rushing yards, posted a career-high 233 yards against Syracuse and 172 more against Boston College among his seven 100-yard outings. Chatarius Atwell (60 catches, 1,125 yards) tied the school record with 12 touchdown receptions and combined with Hawkins to give the Cardinals a 1,000-yard rusher and 1,000-yard receiver in the same season for just the third time in school history. Micale Cunningham (1,782 yards, 61.3 completion percentage, 20 TDs, five interceptions) runs the offense that ranked third in the ACC in scoring offense (32.7) and fifth in total offense (442.1).
PREDICTION: Louisville 31, Mississippi State 24