Missouri tops Ohio State in Cotton Bowl behind fourth-quarter surge

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 Missouri Tigers backmost Brady Cook (12) looks to hand-off nan shot to moving backmost Cody Schrader (7) during nan 88th Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic betwixt nan Ohio State Buckeyes and nan Missouri Tigers connected December 29, 2023 astatine AT&T Stadium successful Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Matthew Pearce/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Missouri, nan No. 1 red-zone discourtesy successful nan country, converted 54 of 55 attempts heading into Cotton Bowl matchup against Ohio State astatine AT&T Stadium. The problem connected Friday wasn’t converting successful nan reddish zone, but getting there.

Trailing 3-0 pinch nether a infinitesimal to play successful nan 3rd quarter, nan Tigers yet recovered themselves successful nan reddish zone, nan first travel by either squad into specified territory. A 7-yard touchdown unreserved by Cody Schrader seconds into nan 4th framework put Missouri up 7-3. The touchdown thrust flipped nan book for nan Tigers, who past went connected to unit a punt, people a touchdown and unit a fumble successful nan pursuing 3 sequences.

It was a drastic displacement from nan first half, erstwhile each squad stood connected nan shoulders of its defense. Both Missouri and Ohio State had six punts, 4 penalties and only 5 first downs, and mixed for 48 passing yards astatine halftime.

By nan last whistle, backmost Brady Cook — who went connected to beryllium named nan game’s violative MVP — accumulated 194 scrimmage yards. Schrader, who entered nan time arsenic nan FBS leader successful rushing yards per crippled pinch 124.9, upped his average, finishing nan time pinch 128 rushing yards and 1 TD.

Mizzou separator rusher Johnny Walker Jr. was named nan game’s protect MVP.

For nan Buckeyes, true-freshman QB Lincoln Kienholz, who assumed nan domiciled midway done nan 2nd 4th aft Devin Brown sustained an ankle wounded — went 6-of-17 for 86 yards. Running backmost TreVeyon Henderson added 72 yards connected nan crushed and wide receiver Emeka Egbuka 63 done nan air.

Aside from prima WR Marvin Harrison Jr., who’s The Athletic’s projected No. 2 draught pick, each Ohio State subordinate that was some draught eligible and disposable opted to play. QB Kyle McCord, who had started each crippled for nan Buckeyes this season, transferred to Syracuse earlier this month.

No subordinate from Missouri opted retired either.

In his first start, Brown sustained an ankle wounded successful nan first quarter. He returned to nan crippled concisely and past took a sack little than a infinitesimal into nan 2nd quarter, which seemed to worsen his wounded arsenic he near nan section visibly successful pain. He was past taken to nan locker room and did not return to play. Brown antecedently wounded his ankle against Penn State connected Oct. 21.

This triumph proves Missouri’s play was nary fluke

Though astir of nan crippled was spent trading punts and location were much yawns than cheers, Mizzou was nan programme that walked disconnected nan section astatine AT&T Stadium arsenic winners. It doesn’t matter if it wasn’t an aesthetically pleasing game, a triumph successful a New York Six Bowl complete a blue-blood programme was nan chef’s buss for a Tigers shot programme that is trying to build thing special. This Mizzou triumph was impervious that location was thing flukey astir this season, not moreover nan adjacent nonaccomplishment against Georgia successful which nan Tigers had a chance to triumph successful nan 4th quarter.

The champion part? Cook is coming back. Wide receiver Luther Burden III, who made a game-clinching touchdown drawback pinch 5:12 remaining, is coming back. And nan Tigers had a fistful of large transportation portal wins successful December to guarantee this roster is athletically equipped to do it again adjacent year. — Ari Wasserman, elder assemblage shot writer

Required reading

  • New Year’s Six Bowls predictions, odds, commencement clip and channel: Live updates
  • The Marvin Harrison Jr. files: What makes Ohio State’s prima wide receiver truthful special?

(Photo: Matthew Pearce / Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

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