CSJ 2019 Franklin American Music City Bowl Preview: Mississippi State vs. Louisville, How to Watch and Fearless Predictions

Mississippi State vs. Louisville (Music City Bowl)
When: Monday, December 30th, 4:00 PM EST
Where: Nissan Stadium, Nashville, TN
TV/Streaming: ESPN, WatchESPN (subscription req’d)

Music City Bowl History (Last 6)

Dec. 28th, 2018: Auburn 63, Purdue 14
Dec. 29th, 2017: Northwestern 24, Kentucky 23
Dec. 30th, 2016: Tennessee 38, Nebraska 24
Dec. 28th, 2015: Louisville 27, Texas A&M 21
Dec. 27th, 2014: Notre Dame 31, LSU 28

Mississippi State (5th SEC West, 6-6, 3-5)

Mississippi State goes for its third straight victory when it meets Louisville of the Atlantic Coast Conference in the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl on Monday from Nashville’s Nissan Stadium.

Head coach Joe Moorhead, who has produced 14 on-field victories, is one of just two State coaches to lead the program to bowl games in his first two seasons on the job joining Jackie Sherrill (1991-92). Moorhead is also the second Bulldog coach since the end of World War II to own on-field wins in each of his first two Egg Bowls. His 14 victories are tied for the most by an MSU coach in his first two seasons since 1941.

MSU is making its 23rd all-time bowl appearance and will conclude the decade as one of only five SEC programs to go to a bowl every season from 2010-19, joining Alabama, Georgia, LSU and Texas A&M.

Key Player: First Team All-SEC RB Kylin Hill announced on Dec. 12 that he will forego his senior season and enter the 2020 NFL Draft. One of the most dynamic running backs in MSU history, Hill intends to play his final game for the Bulldogs on Monday. Hill leads the league in rushing yards (1,347) and 100-yard rushing games (8) and ranks fifth in rushing touchdowns (10). He is one of seven Power 5 running backs with 1,300-plus rushing yards and 10-plus rushing touchdowns this season.

Louisville Cardinals (2nd ACC Atlantic, 7-5, 5-3)

The University of Louisville has accepted a bid to play Mississippi State in the 2019 Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl in Nashville, Tenn., on Dec. 30 at Nissan Stadium. Kickoff is slated for 4 p.m. (EST) and will be televised by ESPN.

This will be Louisville’s second appearance in the Music City Bowl. The Cardinals defeated Texas A&M 27-21 in the 2015 bowl behind a bowl-record 226 yards rushing from quarterback Lamar Jackson.

The Cardinals, who are 7-5 overall and 5-3 in Atlantic Coast Conference play, completed one of the nation’s top turnarounds among Power 5 teams. Finishing the 2018 season at 2-10, the Cardinals completed a five-game improvement, and were only the second ACC team to go from 0-8 in league play to 5-3 the following year.

Louisville suffered a blow when junior NFL prospect OL Mekhi Becton would forego his senior season and declare himself eligible for the NFL draft.  As a result, he will not be playing in the Music City Bowl.

Key Players: RB Javian Hawkins set a UofL single-season freshman rushing record with 1,420 yards, which is also the fourth-best mark in school history.

WR Tutu Atwell tied the school record with 12 touchdown receptions and became the first 1,000-yard receiver since 2007 when Harry Douglas totaled 1,159 yards. Atwell, who has scored a touchdown in five-straight games, has six 100-yard receiving games this year.

Fearless Prediction: 

Chuck: No Becton, no bowl.   Mississippi State 34, Louisville 16

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