Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson might have played his final game in college football, and while etched his name into the record books in a few more spots, the TaxSlayer Bowl was not the finest performance from the 2016 Heisman Trophy victor and 2017 Heisman Trophy finalist. Interim head coach Greg Knox, along with multiple assistants in new positions, led the team after former head coach Dan Mullen left for Florida, taking assistants with him.
The 6-foot-4, 232-pound Thompson did it all. He also broke his own school records for rushing yards and yards from scrimmage.
"He's a very tough young man and played very physical", Louisville coach Bobby Petrino said.
The 2016 Heisman Trophy victor became just the third quarterback in FBS history with at least 50 passing and 50 rushing touchdowns for his career.
Jackson had the Cardinals (8-5) on the move late, but safety Mark McLaurin intercepted his third pass of the game. It definitely was Keytaon Thompson's coming-out party. "The guy's a genius".
No. 24 MSU (8-4) will meet Louisville (8-4) in the TaxSlayer Bowl 11 a.m. Saturday (ESPN) at EverBank Field, doing so just two days after the Alamo Bowl featured 76 combined points and is far from alone in shootout status.
Against Louisville, Thompson hit the ground running. "You saw it early in the TCU game, a lot of trick plays early", Knox said in a press conference Friday morning.
Thompson did have his freshman moments. West Virginia's Pat White set the previous mark with 145 yards in 2007. Jackson has yet to declare for the National Football League draft, but most outsiders believe the dynamic junior will turn pro. Jackson also entered the 50-50 club with 50 career touchdowns rushing and 50 career touchdowns passing, joining Colin Kaepernick and Tim Tebow as the only players in FBS history with career totals above 50 and 50.
While Jackson ponders moving on, Thompson's college career is just beginning.
Knox said wide receivers Donald Gray (groin) and Keith Mixon (ankle) will not play in the TaxSlayer Bowl.