When: Saturday December 30th, 12:00, ESPN
Current spread: UofL -6.5, O/U 63
All-time series: 2-2
The Taxslayer Bowl will feature two QBs that like to run. Last year’s Heisman winner Lamar Jackson on one side, Nick Fitzgerald on the other. This game will be a good start to your Saturday.
Lamar Jackson (3,489-25-6) is a household name at this point. His passing improved immensely this season and he also did damage on the ground again. 1,443 rushing yards with 17 TDs, numbers that would impress coming from a running back, much less a QB. Jaylen Smith (53-873-6) and Dez Fitzpatrick (45-699-9) are his top two receivers. The Cardinals have a nice 1-2 punch coming out of the backfield. Malik Williams (518-4) and Reggie Bonnafon (446-7) will both get touches during the game.
The Bulldogs will send Nick Fitzgerald (1,782-15-11) out to run the offense. He can run too. He rushed for 984 yards with 14 TDs this year. Mississippi State also has Aeris Williams (1,019-5) running the ball. When Fitzgerald goes to the air, he’ll count on Deddrick Thomas (20-234-4) and Keith Mixon (18-275-1) to make the plays.
Both of these teams have an offense that centers around a versatile QB. How the defenses respond will be a big factor in the outcome of this game. I like Louisville laying the points with a slight lean to the over. I expect Lamar to go out in style with a stellar performance. Fast pace, high scoring.