Thompson carries Miss State to 31-27 victory in TaxSlayer

Esther Moore
December 31, 2017

In the first half of the TaxSlayer Bowl against Mississippi State, the 2016 Heisman Trophy victor threw for 107 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Thompson struggled with his accuracy against Ole Miss, but that shouldn't come as a surprise given his lack of experience.

Jackson completed 13 of 31 passes for 171 yards, with two touchdowns and four interceptions. He threw just six interceptions in the regular season. In what's likely to be his last collegiate game, Jackson should again impress with a dazzling performance. Head coach Dan Mullen would leave Starkville for the Florida Gators job.

The Bulldogs' defense intercepted 2016 Heisman Trophy victor Lamar Jackson four times - three by MVP Mark McLaurin - and sacked him six times. Three of those INTs were by Mark McLaurin.

But you knew Jackson wasn't going to be totally upstaged in this game, and sure enough, he had one of the best highlights of the game on this ankle-breaking touchdown run in the second quarter to tie the game at 14-14.

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It was the ninth win of the year for 24th-ranked Mississippi State.

The No. 4 Bulldogs were without a head coach, offensive or defensive coordinator and their usual starting quarterback. West Virginia's Pat White set the previous mark with 145 yards in 2007.

He had the longest run of his career, a 75-yarder late in the second quarter, and a 13-yard TD scamper earlier in the game in which he split two defenders and made another look silly.

If he is leaving, he went out setting records. Before halftime, he also broke his own school record from 2016 with 5,139 yards total offense this season, according to ESPN Stats & Info. The A-Train averages 4.6 yards per carry and has rushed for five scores this season. Jackson became the third player in Football Bowl Subdivision history with at least 50 touchdown passes and 50 touchdown runs, joining Florida's Tim Tebow and Nevada's Colin Kaepernick. Louisville WR Jaylen Smith had seven catches for 107 receiving yards.

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