STARKVILLE, Miss. (WTVA/MSU Athletics) - For a school-record eighth straight season, Mississippi State football is going bowling as the 23rd-ranked Bulldogs will face Louisville in the TaxSlayer Bowl at 11 a.m. CT/12 p.m. ET on Dec. 30 at EverBank Field.
The game will be televised live on ESPN. Tickets for the TaxSlayer Bowl are on sale now at HailState.com/bowltickets. Tickets start at $85. Cowbells will be permitted at EverBank Field, and the NFL’s clear bag policy will be in place.
“We are excited to accept a bid to the TaxSlayer Bowl and cap this season off the right way,” Director of Athletics John Cohen said. “I want to congratulate our team for a terrific season and earning the right to play one more. We get to do it in an NFL stadium. Our group of seniors is one victory away from tying the school record for wins by a senior class. We look forward to seeing our Bulldog family turn out in Jacksonville as we play in a Florida bowl for the fifth time in eight seasons.”
No. 23 State (8-4, 4-4 SEC) was the fifth-highest ranked SEC team in the final College Football Playoff rankings. Three of the Bulldogs’ losses occurred to teams in the final top seven. Seven of MSU’s victories were by double-digits, including a 37-7 victory over current No. 17 LSU.
“This is a great opportunity for our team to go after its ninth win of the year,” said Greg Knox, who will serve as MSU’s head coach for the bowl game. “We are excited about playing an opponent the caliber of Louisville in the TaxSlayer Bowl. Our players are ready to get back to practice.”
Louisville enters the game with an 8-4 record and a 4-4 mark in the ACC. They feature reigning Heisman Trophy winner quarterback Lamar Jackson. It will be the fifth time the two schools have faced off and first since Sept. 18, 1976 in Starkville. MSU won all four previous meetings on the field but had to vacate wins in 1975 and 1976.
MSU is making its 21st all-time bowl appearance and is one of only five SEC schools to go to a bowl in every season this decade. The Bulldogs own a 12-8 bowl record, and it will be the seventh time that State will play in a Florida bowl. It’s also MSU’s third appearance in the TaxSlayer Bowl. It previously defeated Michigan, 52-14, in the 2011 game, and it lost 34-20 in Northwestern in the 2013 game.
Joe Moorhead was named MSU’s 33rd head coach last week. He will not coach in the bowl game and instead focus on recruiting and evaluating. Knox, who has served on the staff the past nine seasons and over 20 years in the SEC, will instead serve as head coach in the TaxSlayer Bowl. The Bulldogs begin bowl practice on Friday, Dec. 8.
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