Jacksonville Sports Day

Bulldogs Arrive In Jacksonville, Go Through First Bowl Practice

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – For the fourth time in six years, Mississippi State football has arrived in Florida in preparation for a bowl game as the Bulldogs flew to Jacksonville Christmas night and then went through their first TaxSlayer Bowl game week practice at the University of North Florida on Tuesday afternoon.

MSU (8-4), under the direction of interim head coach Greg Knox, practiced for just under two hours in its first workout since Dec. 21.

The Bulldogs’ travel party took a charter flight to Jacksonville International Airport and then bussed to their headquarters for the week – the Sawgrass Marriott – before going through position meetings Tuesday morning.

“It was good. There was lots of enthusiasm. Guys hopping around. A lot of juice, which we needed. They were happy to be back out on the field. They were happy to be back together. We had a wonderful Christmas back home with our families, so they were happy to be back together,” Knox said.

Senior linebacker Dez Harris, who missed the final two regular season games due to a thigh injury, returned to practice for the first time since the injury. Keytaon Thompson has taken all of the reps in practice and will be just the third true freshman quarterback to start in a bowl game for MSU.

Starter Nick Fitzgerald, who broke his ankle during the Egg Bowl, did make the trip to Jacksonville as did senior wide receiver Donald Gray, who is recovering from sports hernia surgery. Both were at practice and providing leadership on the sideline.

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