By Will Martin
#13 Oklahoma State Cowboys vs #8 Missouri Tigers
Friday – January 3 – 6:30 PM
AT&T Stadium – Arlington
Friday night in Arlington is going to be a lot like a card game. How is that? Despite the different conferences for these two teams this will mark the 52nd time the Cowboys and Tigers meet in their storied rivalry. Both teams will be on a mission to prove something as #8 Missouri and #13 Oklahoma State both lost games they’d like to have back.
Go back to December 7th when Missouri had a meeting with Auburn. That other Tiger team with a crazy finish over Alabama a week later. The Tigers of Mizzou were Pearl Harbored in an aerial shootout to the tune of 59-42. Had Missouri won you may have had a different matchup for a BCS title game with Florida State.
Also in December Oklahoma State had a matchup with their in-state rival the Sooners. The Cowboys were also a victim of bad luck. 19 seconds away from a 24-20 win the Sooners would find the end zone and would then add another touchdown on a fumble as the Sooners went Boomer with the pigskin for a 33-24 victory.
Missouri is also no stranger to being a part of something so prestigious as the Cotton Bowl.
“We know firsthand just how great of a trip this is, and how first-class of an operation the Cotton Bowl runs,” said Gary Pinkel, who is taking the Tigers to their ninth bowl in 13 seasons as coach, including a 38-7 win over Arkansas in the 2007 Cotton Bowl.’
The Tigers have a 28-23 series lead with Oklahoma State in a series that has roots going back to 1915.
“I don’t know if it seems weird (playing Missouri),” Cowboys coach Mike Gundy said. “We are still familiar with them. We played them so many years in a row and have watched them play. They’re very similar to the way they were.”
Junior running back Henry Josey (1,074 yards and 13 touchdowns) and senior quarterback James Franklin (2,255 yards, 19 touchdowns only five interceptions with 474 rushing yards and four scores) will lead the way offensively for Missouri. L’Damian Washington and Dorial Green Beckham handle the brunt of receiver catches. 1,683 yards and 22 touchdowns.
Clint Chelf had himself a heck of a run as quarterback in 2013 for Oklahoma State. Taking over for J. W. Walsh, Chelf has put up some nice numbers. 15 touchdown passes and six picks. Chelf is ready for the challenge.
“Any time you can play an SEC team, you want to do it. They’re obviously regarded as the top conference,” Chelf said. “Getting a shot at a team that was in the conference championship is a good challenge for us.”
Oklahoma State is going for at least 11 wins for the third time in four seasons. The Cowboys never won more than 10 games before Gundy took over in 2005.
Prediction: I like the Cowboys in a high scoring game. Oklahoma State 41 – Missouri 35