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Oklahoma State7071731
16  Missouri71002441
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(13) Oklahoma State (10-2) vs. (9) Missouri (11-2)



Friday, January 3, 7:30 p.m. (ET)

SportsNetwork.com

By Mike Castiglione, Associate College Football Editor

GAME NOTES: Former conference rivals are set to collide in the 2014 Cotton Bowl at AT&T Stadium, as the ninth-ranked Missouri Tigers take on the 13th- ranked Oklahoma State Cowboys.

Oklahoma State is making its eighth straight bowl appearance and has won its last three bowl games overall, including a 58-14 thrashing of Purdue in last year's Heart of Dallas Bowl. A win here would give the Cowboys their third 11- win campaign in the last four years under coach Mike Gundy -- no small feat for a program that had produced only three 10-win seasons in its history before Gundy took over in 2005.

The Cowboys were defeated by arch-rival Oklahoma in the final seconds of this year's installment of the Bedlam Series on Dec. 7, a result that snapped OSU's seven-game win streak and denied its bid for the Big 12 title, as well as the conference's automatic BCS bid. Now, Gundy and the Pokes shift their focus to a former Big 12 foe that also had hopes of going to a BCS bowl.

"I think the success (Missouri) had early in the SEC surprised most people across the country," Gundy said. "The talk then was that Missouri and (Texas A&M) were getting into a league that they weren't prepared for in some people's opinion. We've always had a lot of respect for Missouri"

Missouri is back in a bowl game after missing out on the postseason last year, when it stumbled to a 5-7 record in its first season in the Southeastern Conference. But the Tigers certainly turned it around in year two and went on to win the East Division despite being picked to finish sixth in the preseason poll.

They reeled off seven straight wins to start the year, including an impressive victory over then seventh-ranked Georgia. They continued to take care of business in the latter part of the season despite starting quarterback James Franklin missing four starts with a shoulder injury. Franklin returned late in the year and posted a big game against Auburn in the SEC Championship, but the second-ranked Tigers went on to claim a 59-42 victory and a berth in the BCS National Championship Game.

Missouri holds a 28-23 edge in the all-time series with Oklahoma State, although the Cowboys have won each of the last three meetings.

Oklahoma State has scored 20 or more points in 51 consecutive games dating back to the start of the 2010 season, the longest active streak in the country. The Cowboys have averaged nearly 40 points per game this season (39.8) to rank 14th nationally in scoring offense. Against OU, Desmond Roland ran for 144 yards and accounted for three touchdowns, including a one-yard score that gave OSU a 24-20 lead with 1:46 remaining. However, the Sooners answered with a game-winning touchdown drive to dash the Cowboys' hopes of winning their second Big 12 title in three seasons.

Quarterback Clint Chelf said that although it was not easy, the team has indeed moved on from that heartbreaking outcome.

"The first week after the game, I would have said yes," Chelf said when asked if there was any hangover from the Bedlam game. "It was a tough loss. Now, we're focused on Missouri. We're excited to play again and to get that bad taste out of our mouth."

Oklahoma State is one of only two teams in the country that rank in the top-15 nationally in both scoring offense and scoring defense (20.0 ppg, fourth), joining No. 1 Florida State. However, the defense folded at the worst time against Oklahoma, as the Sooners marched 66 yards in less than a minute and a half to score the deciding touchdown with only 19 seconds remaining.

Despite that gut-wrenching final drive, the OSU defense is not a unit to underestimate. After all, the Pokes rank fourth nationally in turnover margin (+1.3), fifth in red-zone defense (0.7), and seventh in third-down defense (0.3). Leading the way is senior cornerback Justin Gilbert, a consensus All- American who topped the Big 12 and ranked fifth nationally with six interceptions this season. He returned two picks for touchdowns, giving him an impressive eight non-offensive TDs in his career.

Missouri quarterback James Franklin returned from his injury to start the final three games, and his numbers steadily improved in each of those starts. He saved his best for the Auburn game, throwing for 303 yards and three touchdowns, while also running for another score. Junior tailback Henry Josey went over 1,000 yards for the season in that game, as he piled up 123 yards in only nine carries, marking his fourth 100-yard rushing game of 2013 and 11th of his career.

Balance is the key to the Tigers offense, as four players have scored at least 10 touchdowns, a first-ever accomplishment at Missouri (Josey, 14; sophomore WR Dorial Green-Beckham, 12; senior WR L'Damian Washington, 10; junior TB Marcus Murphy, 10).

Defensively, Mizzou boasts a national-best streak of 43 consecutive games with a takeaway, which junior defensive end Kony Ealy kept alive with one of two forced fumbles in the SEC Championship Game. The last time the Tigers failed to record at least one takeaway in a game was Oct. 30, 2010 at Nebraska. The headliner of the unit is Ealy's bookend, unanimous All-American Michael Sam. He enters the Cotton Bowl as the SEC leader with 10.5 sacks and 18.0 tackles for loss. On Dec. 9, he was named the SEC Defensive Player of the Year, the second Tiger ever to win conference defensive player of the year honors.

Both rosters are littered with players who hail from the state of Texas, so the AT&T Stadium crowd figures to be split fairly evenly. Oklahoma State has won nine of its last 10 matchups against current members of the SEC, but the Tigers certainly present as formidable a challenge as any.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Oklahoma State 30, Missouri 27

12/30 11:53:57 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
CAR 4
TOR 1
Final
DUKE 66
UCONN 56
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
CHA
 
Final
CHI 103
NYK 97
Final
HOU 90
NOP 99
Final
SAC 107
MIL 108
Final
GSW 114
OKC 109
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
CHA
 
7:00pm Tonight
ORL
UTA
 
7:30pm Tonight
CLE
BRK
 
7:30pm Tonight
BOS
MIN
 
7:30pm Tonight
DET
TOR
 
7:30pm Tonight
MIA
WAS
 
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
CHI
 
8:00pm Tonight
SAN
POR
 
9:00pm Tonight
DEN
LAC
 
10:30pm Tonight
LAL
OKC
 
Final
RICE 72
STTHOMASTX 61
 
Final
UVA 70
CLST 54
Final
LIU 69
FIU 58
 
Final
STET 67
GSOUT 76
 
Final
QUIN 80
LEH 65
 
Final
SFLA 69
SHU 89
Final
RICH 65
SALA 54
Final
CAN 60
USB 59
 
Final
DEL 62
TEMPL 82
Final
WCU 56
WRST 69
 
Final
VERM 56
YALE 57
 
Final
SDKST 75
IDST 72
 
Final
RIDE 62
MRGST 48
 
Final
LATU 79
NICST 54
 
Final
CHAR 75
APP 65
Final
MISS 71
CCAR 68
 
Final
DUKE 66
UCONN 56
Final
BRAD 80
EUREK 38
 
Final
PEAY 76
OAKC 52
 
Final
JST 66
SMISS 46
 
Final
SD 55
MNTST 53
 
Final
UAB 70
LSU 79
Final
EVAN 81
OHIO 69
 
Final
CSFU 72
CSDH 50
 
Final
ORST 90
DEP 59
Final
PAC 69
NEV 65
Final
USF 77
PORST 40
 
Final
IDAHO 86
WALLA 39
 
Final
UTST 57
CALST 56
 
1:30pm Today
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2:00pm Today
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6:00pm Tonight
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7:00pm Tonight
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NO
 
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HAW
 
Final
PIT 1
COL 0
Final
PHI 1
FLA 2
Final
CAR 4
TOR 1
Final
CLB 4
WAS 5
Final
MON 1
ANA 2
Final
SJS 4
EDM 3
Final
LOS 6
STL 4
7:00pm Tonight
NJD
TAM
 
7:30pm Tonight
OTT
ANA
 
7:30pm Tonight
DET
NYI
 
8:00pm Tonight
WIN
BOS
 
9:00pm Tonight
CAL
DAL
 
Final
JAC 21
TEN 13