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Mississippi State Ends Season with Loss in Music City Bowl

Bulldogs finish season with a 6-7 record.

NCAA Football: Music City Bowl-Mississippi State vs Louisville Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

NASHVILLE — The Mississippi State football team ended the 2019 season with a 38-28 loss in the Music City Bowl at Nissan Stadium Monday evening.

With the loss, the Bulldogs end the season with a 6-7 (3-5 SEC) record, while the Cardinals finish with an 8-5 record.

The Bulldogs used an eight-play 99-yard drive, which was capped off by a 3-yard run by senior quarterback Tommy Stevens, to take a 7-0 led with 4:48 left in the first quarter. Senior running back Nick Gibson then capped off an 80-yard drive with a 3-yard touchdown run of his own to extend the MSU lead to 14-0 with 10:19 left in the half.

The Cardinals scored 31 unanswered points into the fourth quarter to take a 31-14 lead with 13:52 to play in the game.

A 33-yard trick play where Louisville sophomore receiver Chatarius Atwell passed to freshman tight end Marshon Ford for a score made it 14-7. A 31-yard field goal by sophomore kicker Ryan Chalifoux made it a 14-10 ballgame.

A 24-yard passing touchdown from sophomore quarterback Micale Cunningham to senior receiver Devante Peete gave Louisville its first lead of the game at 17-14 lead with 5:01 to go in the third quarter. A 31-yard scoop-and-score by Louisville senior defensive back Khane Pass extended the Cardinal lead to 24-14 with 2:51 to play in the third quarter. Cunningham found Ford for an 8-yard touchdown pass to increase Louisville’s lead to 31-14 early in the final quarter.

Stevens and the Bulldogs ended the scoring drought with an 18-yard touchdown pass to senior receiver Stephen Guidry to draw within 10 points at 31-21 with 10:25 to play.

A 5-yard touchdown run by freshman running back Javian Hawkins pushed the Cardinal lead back to 17 points with 2:13 remaining.

The game’s scoring ended with a 24-yard touchdown catch by Bulldogs junior receiver Osirus Mitchell to make it 38-28.

Stevens completed 17-of-26 passes for 221 yards and two touchdowns. His favorite target of the day was Guidry, who finished with a team-high six catches for 76 yards and a touchdown.

Stevens led the team on the ground, finishing with 71 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries. Gibson rushed eight times for 54 yards and a touchdown. Junior running back Kylin Hill carried the ball seven times for three yards.

Defensively, State allowed 510 yards of total offense, which included 312 yards through the air and 198 yards on the ground.

Junior linebacker Willie Gay Jr. anchored the defense with a career-high 11 solo tackles and a forced fumble. Sophomore safety Marcus Murphy turned in a 10-tackle performance. Senior linebacker Tim Washington tallied eight tackles and recovered the fumble forced by Murphy.

The Bulldogs kickoff the 2020 season at home on Saturday, Sept. 5, when MSU hosts New Mexico at Davis Wade Stadium.