Cardinals Overtake Bulldogs In Music City Bowl, 38-28

Tuesday, December 31, 2019 - by Michael O'Hagan
- photo by Sherry Farnkopf
The University of Louisville needed almost three complete quarters to gain the lead in the 2019 Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl.  Once it did, Mississippi State was never able to recover. 


Falling behind 14-7, Louisville scored 31 consecutive points.

The run included a 24-yard TD toss from quarterback Micale Cunningham to Devante Peete that put them in front 17-14 at the 5:01 mark of the third quarter. 


The Cardinals’ 38-28 victory completes an 8-5 season under first-year head coach Scott Satterfield. 

“I’m really excited about what we were able to accomplish this year with our staff and players,” said Satterfield, who coached Appalachian State from 2013 through 2018.   


“Coming into the season there probably weren’t many people who even thought we would be going to the postseason.” 


Satterfield turned around a program that went 2-10 (0-8 in the ACC) last season under Bobby Petrino and interim coach Lorenzo Ward. 


Mississippi State, which had to win three of its last four regular season games to become bowl eligible, ends the year at 6-7.   


“This obviously wasn’t the outcome we wanted,” noted Bulldogs coach Joe Morehead. “To win an Eggbowl (over archrival Ole Miss) and get to this game, to me, is a credit to our seniors and this staff. 


“These leaders battled through a ton of adversity this season, from injuries to other things.” 


The adversity continued right from the start of the bowl game, as leading running back Kylin Hill was banged upon on the very first play and was used only sparingly the rest of the night.  


State was forced to look to senior backup running back Nick Gibson and true freshman Lee Witherspoon to pick up the slack, and each made valuable contributions. 


Witherspoon, himself, missed most of the season due to a lower body injury.   Last year he set Alabama high school records for the most rushing touchdowns (53) and total touchdowns (59) during his senior season at North Jackson in nearby Stevenson, Ala.  He averaged more than 19 yards per carry as a high school senior. 


The Bulldogs dominated the game early, taking advantage of a Louisville fumble at the Mississippi State one-yard line on the Cardinals’ opening possession.   Bulldogs quarterback Tommy Stevens led his team 99 yards in eight plays, culminating with a three-yard touchdown run at the 4:10 mark of the first quarter.  Jace Christmann’s PAT put State up 7-0. 


Witherspoon accounted for an 11-yard carry on the drive and was instrumental in execution of a flea flicker play, running up the middle on a handoff, then tossing back to Stevens, who then connected on a 27-yard pass to Javonta Payton to put the Bulldogs in the red zone and set up the first score. 


The boys from Starkville increased their lead to 14-0 when Stevens took his team on another impressive drive early in the second quarter.  It covered 80 yards in 10 plays and was punctuated by the controversial ejection of Louisville linebacker Dorian Etheridge, who was caught kicking at an opposing player following a tackle.   Louisville fans voiced their disagreement with the call when replay revealed the kick wasn’t much more than a tug of the foot in an effort to separate himself from a Mississippi State player.  


Louisville seemed to sense that the game was about to get away. The urgency put in motion the 31-point swing that began when Cunningham tossed a screen to Chatarius “Tutu” Atwell, who then threw a 33-yard touchdown strike across field to tight end Marshon Ford. 


Atwell finished the night with nine catches for 147 yards, enough to make him Louisville’s all-time single-season receiver with 1,276 yards. 


Louisville place kicker Ryan Chalifoux knocked through a 31-yard field goal as the first half expired. 

Javian Hawkins led the Cardinals with 105 rushing yards and a touchdown. Louisville outgained State offensively 510 yards to 366. 

AA South Baseball Standings

Red Wolves' Cardona Named To Puerto Rico National Team Roster

UTC's Parrott Named SoCon Tournament Most Outstanding Player

AA-South Standings/Results (as of games of 5/17/22) North Division Team W L PCT GB Tennessee (CHC) ... (click for more)

Red Wolves defender Nicolás Cardona was named to the Puerto Rico National Team roster on Monday evening May 16th, becoming the first active Red Wolves player to be called into National Team duty. ... (click for more)

Last weekend at the Southern Conference Softball Championship, junior hurler Brooke Parrott went 4-0 in the circle with a 1.12 ERA en route to being named the SoCon Tournament’s Most Outstanding ... (click for more)


AA South Baseball Standings

AA-South Standings/Results (as of games of 5/17/22) North Division Team W L PCT GB Tennessee (CHC) 21 13 .636 - Rocket City (LAA) 19 15 .559 2.0 Chattanooga (CIN) 18 16 ... (click for more)

Red Wolves' Cardona Named To Puerto Rico National Team Roster

Red Wolves defender Nicolás Cardona was named to the Puerto Rico National Team roster on Monday evening May 16th, becoming the first active Red Wolves player to be called into National Team duty. Cardona will report for Puerto Rico National Team camp in the Cayman Islands on June 5 for two matches in the first round of the CONCACAF Nations League. Puerto Rico will play against ... (click for more)

Breaking News

137 Acres Of Prime Land In Hixson Being Eyed By Several Groups - It's The Valleybrook Golf Course

There's 137 acres of prime land in Hixson now being eyed by several different groups - it's the Valleybrook Golf Course. Chattanooga businessman Henry Luken, who bought it at an auction nine years ago for $950,000 (plus six percent sale commission, is shopping it for $3.4 million. He said a Florida group is eyeing it along with some groups in Chattanooga, but no deal has yet ... (click for more)

DA Crump To Seek Detention Of 2 Boys Charged In Beating Death Of Dog "Angel"

District Attorney Steve Crump said he has requested detention of two 16-year-old boys facing aggravated animal cruelty charges, though he said under the law they could not be transferred to adult court. One of the youths allegedly videoed the other beating a dog to death. They are scheduled for a detention hearing on Thursday in the Juvenile Court of Bradley County. DA ... (click for more)


We Owe A Great Debt Of Gratitude To Sheriff Jim Hammond

I nearly bit off my tongue trying to restrain myself with regard to the attacks on Sheriff Jim Hammond in recent weeks. For over 25 years I have known Jim. I know him to be a fine Christian gentleman, a patriotic American, a genuinely compassionate leader. For many years, at his church, he taught Sunday School. On behalf of the U.S. Department of Justice, he taught constitutional ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Muffling The Mobs From Neighborhoods

On Monday Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill to combat bad behavior, which most laws do, but HB 1571 should have never been necessary. It bans angry mobs and profane picketers from going into neighborhoods to protest in front of somebody’s house. We’ve seen the upraised middle fingers and the insidious language spewed out of megaphones in recent weeks in front of some Supreme ... (click for more)