Mississippi State true freshman quarterback Garrett Shrader is ‘out’ of his team’s Dec. 30 Music City Bowl showdown vs. Louisville in Nashville.
According to multiple reports, Shrader and junior LB Willie Gay were involved in an altercation at last Friday’s practice. The result was an eye injury for Shrader that resulted in heavy swelling.
He reportedly sat out Saturday’s practice and then upon further testing, damage to his orbital bone was discovered. Shrader’s injury won’t require surgery, but he can’t play against the Cardinals.
As of Thursday afternoon, most books had the Bulldogs listed as four-point favorites with a total of 63.5. Louisville was +155 on the money line.
Mississippi State has won all five previous head-to-head meetings between these schools. This is the Bulldogs 10th consecutive postseason appearance.
Shrader has completed 88-of-153 passes (57.5%) for 1,170 yards with an 8/5 touchdown-to-interception ratio. He’s more of a threat making plays with his legs, rushing for 587 yards and six TDs with a 5.2 yards-per-carry average.
Senior QB Tommy Stevens will get the starting nod against U of L. He was the starter at the beginning of the season, but an injury forced him out of action and gave Shrader a chance to shine. Stevens has been in and out of the lineup since then.
Stevens has connected on 80-of-135 throws (59.3%) for 934 yards with a 9/5 TD-INT ratio. He has 310 rushing yards, three TDs and a 4.7 YPC average.
Mississippi State is 2-2 both straight up and against the spread in four games as a single-digit favorite this year. Meanwhile, Louisville is 3-4 ATS with two outright victories in seven games as an underdog.
Gay missed eight of MSU’s 12 games due to a suspension for an academic matter, but he is expected to play against the Cardinals.
Kickoff on Dec. 30 is scheduled for 4:00 p.m. ET. on ESPN.