2014 Cotton Bowl Preview
Just like last year’s Cotton Bowl match-up at Jerry World, we have a Big 12 team taking on a former conference mate and recent seceder to the vaunted SEC. But unlike last year’s 41-13 thrashing of Oklahoma by Texas A&M and Johnny Manziel, this one lines up to be a back-and-forth battle between two closely matched squads.
It will be the final collegiate game for both teams’ senior quarterbacks. Since taking over full-time quarterback duties after OSU’s J.W. Walsh went down with a season-ending knee injury, Clint Chelf has kept the Cowboys offense moving. In five games without Walsh, Chelf has thrown for 248.6 yards per game with 11 touchdowns and four interceptions while adding 196 rushing yards and five more scores on the ground. And despite missing four games due to injury, Tiger QB James Franklin put up solid enough aerial numbers for a full season of play (2,255 yards, 19 touchdowns, 5 INTs), while also adding 474 rushing yards and four scores on the ground.
Oklahoma State’s balanced offense has five players who have scored at least five touchdowns. Desmond Roland (745 rushing yards, 12 TDs) leads the Cowboy’s ground game and receivers Tracy Moore (44 catches, 638 yards, six TDs) and Josh Stewart (52 catches, 623 yards, two TDs) make a formidable receiving duo. OSU’s defense will be tested by the Tigers solid three-headed ground game, led by Henry Josey’s 1,074 yards and 13 touchdowns, Russell Hansbrough’s 660 yards rushing and 4 touchdowns and Marcus Murphy’s 571 yards and 9 touchdowns.
Both teams have shown all year that they can move the ball and put up lots of points, but a key to watch for is how well Missouri can run the ball against an Oklahoma State defensive front that has held its opponents to about 100 fewer yards per game (132) than Missouri is used to putting up on the ground (236.5).
Both teams come into this game with a chip on their shoulder as each fell short of playing in a BCS Bowl by losing their last game of the season – OSU to arch rival Oklahoma 33-24 in Stillwater and Missouri to Auburn in the SEC Championship game 59-42. Redemption awaits for one team in Arlington tonight.
Date: Friday, Jan. 3
Kick Off: 7:00
Teams: Missouri (11-2) #8 vs. Oklahoma State (10-2) #13
Series: Missouri leads all-time 28-23
Location: AT&T Stadium
TV Info: FOX
Line: Missouri is favored by 1 point
Prediction: OSU 31, Missouri 28