3. Louisville has a … run defense?
When we last seas the Louisville defense, it was getting ripped to shreds by Lynn Bowden and the Kentucky offense that came up with 517 yards on the ground. That was coming off a rough day against a punchless Syracuse running game that came up with 261 yards.
Coming into the bowl game, Louisville had everything trained on slowing down future NFL starter Kylin Hill, and it held him to three yards on seven carries.
Helped by the quarterbacks, Mississippi State was 18th in the nation in rushing offense, coming up with 200 yards or more in four of its last five games and in eight games overall.
The nation’s 115th-ranked run defense held the Bulldogs to 145 yards and just four yards per carry on a season-low 36 carries.