The Cotton Bowl is shaping up to be one of the more anticipated games of the bowl season as two very talented teams, Oklahoma State and Missouri, face off in what should be a high scoring game.
Here are the five main players or talking points of the game:
No.1: Missouri’s offense.
The Missouri offense is ranked 17th overall in the nation with an average of 492.9 yards per game, led by the great play of quarterback James Franklin. Despite missing four games of the season due to a separated shoulder, Franklin has still managed to throw 19 touchdowns and a total of 2255 passing yards. The receiving duo of L’Damian Washington and Dorial Green-Beckham have combined for 1683 total yards and 22 total touchdowns.
No.2: Michael Sam Vs the Oklahoma St. O-line.
The senior defensive end has had an impressive season up to this point. He was named to the all-American first team and was awarded the SEC defensive player of the year with 10.5 sacks and 18 tackles for loss. How the offensive line deals with Sam will be crucial to the offense being able to develop and have any time to put plays together.
No.3: Justin Gilbert Vs the Missouri receivers.
Oklahoma St.’s cornerback will have his hands full with Washington and Green-Beckham who are 6’4’’ and 6’6’’ respectively. Gilbert made the second team of the All-America squad and named one of the three finalists for the Jim Thorpe award for the best defensive back in college football. He is also tied for fourth in the nation with six interceptions including two he returned for touchdowns.
No.4: Watch the scoreboard tick and tick.
Missouri and Oklahoma St. are ranked 16th and 15th in the nation respectively in points scored per game. Missouri average 39.0 and Oklahoma St. average 39.8 per game. So this promises to be a high scoring game between two teams who are used to putting up big points.
No.5: Both teams looking to continue their recent success
Coach Gary Pinkel is looking for his 102nd win at Missouri to give him the most in school history and only the second 12-win season in school history. Oklahoma St. are aiming for at least 11 wins in a season for the third time in four seasons. Before coach Mike Gundy took over in 2005 they hadn’t won more than ten games in a season.