STARKVILLE – Mississippi State is headed back to the Music City Bowl and will have a familiar foe waiting on it in Nashville.
The Bulldogs will meet Louisville at 3 p.m. on Dec. 30 at Nissan Stadium and televised by ESPN. It is the second time in three years that MSU has met the Cardinals in a bowl game.
"The Music City Bowl is the perfect destination for our Bulldog fans and team," said MSU Director of Athletics John Cohen. "Nashville has a strong Mississippi State alumni contingent and is a great city to enjoy. I am thrilled for our football program on earning a bowl berth every season this decade. We look forward to seeing a large amount of Maroon and White in Nashville and sending out our senior class with a positive experience."
The Bulldogs defeated Louisville and then quarterback Lamar Jackson 31-27 in the 2017 TaxSlayer Bowl. State quarterback Keytaon Thompson rushed for 147 yards and three touchdowns in that game while former safety Mark McLaurin was named the game’s MVP with three of the Bulldogs’ four interceptions.
Mississippi State is making its school-record 10th consecutive bowl appearance and second trip to the Music City Bowl. The Bulldogs beat Wake Forest 23-17 in the 2011 Music City Bowl with Vick Ballard rushing for 180 yards and two touchdowns.
State is one of only five Southeastern Conference programs to go to a bowl each year of the past decade joining LSU, Alabama, Georgia and Texas A&M.
It is the 23rd overall bowl bid for MSU. The Bulldogs are 13-9 all-time in bowl games and own a 6-3 record during its current bowl streak.
"This is a great opportunity for our football program against a very quality and well-coached Louisville team," said MSU head coach Joe Moorhead. "I am very excited for our team to accept this bid to the Music City Bowl. We are fired up about the practices ahead. We have built a lot of momentum over the past month and want to ensure our senior class goes out the right way. We can't wait to see our Bulldog fans in Nashville to close the year."
Louisville is 7-5 and lost 45-13 at Kentucky in its regular season finale.
The Bulldogs have won all five previous on-field match-ups against the Cardinals but had to forfeit their victories in the 1975-76 seasons.