What once looked like a furious, 60-minute sprint in the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl ground to a halt at halftime as both teams limped to the finish. After 42 first half points, the Louisville Cardinals and Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles combined for just 17 in the second with a field goal making up the final margin. The Cardinals scored the last 10 points of the game, capped by Chris Philpott’s 36-yard go-ahead field goal with just over six minutes to go.
The first half was much more entertaining than advertised as the Golden Eagles, surprisingly, jumped out to a 14-point lead. The Cardinals finally woke up in the second quarter, driving the 37 yards for the touchdown to get on the board. Mississippi State answered with a bit of trickery, using the old pass to the quarterback to catch the defense off-guard. After a furious first half, we headed into halftime tied, expecting another frantic second half.
It didn’t happen. The most action came within about a 30-second span in the fourth quarter. The Golden Eagles scored on the first play from scrimmage in the final period on a beautiful catch by Zeke Walters. Down, but not out, Louisville answered by returning the ensuing kickoff. Eight minutes later, a field goal turned out to be the game-winner, and Louisville brought home a Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl title, and a souvenir mini-helmet as a cherry on top.
Southern Mississippi quarterback Austin Davis threw for a game-high 206 yards and two touchdowns in the loss. Louisville quarterback Justin Burke was right behind, throwing for 176 yards and two touchdowns. Bilal Powell rushed for 76 yards and a touchdown. Desmond Johnson was over the century mark for Mississippi State, rushing for 101 yards and a touchdown.