The city of Arlington will be abuzz on January 3rd, 2014 when the Oklahoma State Cowboys faceoff against the Missouri Tigers in the AT&T Cotton Bowl. Held at the home of the Dallas Cowboys, the $1 Billion stadium can easily accommodate up to 100,000 fans. The #8 Missouri Tigers enter the game with an 11-2 record on the season and a slew of big time victories over ranked teams including Georgia, Florida, Ole Miss and Auburn. On the other side of the ball, the #13 Oklahoma State Cowboys enter the Cotton Bowl after an excellent season that saw them finish with a 10-2 record. The Sooners propelled themselves to a BCS Bowl game with a strong finish to the season that saw them topple the red-hot Baylor Bears and Texas Longhorns.
Both teams entered the final weekend of regular season play hoping to win their conference championships; however, both teams lost and their chances of playing in the BCS National Championship were squashed. Given that both teams can put up points in a flash expect the game to be a shootout till the end. Expect the Tigers to pound the ball through their star running back Henry Josey who finished the year with 1066 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns. The Tigers are led at QB by James Franklin who still managed to post more than 2200 yards through the air and 19 touchdown passes despite missing four games due to injury.
Look for the Cowboys to spread the field with the deep ball behind the strong arm of Clint Chelf. The Cowboys have used two quarterbacks throughout the season; however, it appears that Chelf has earned the start in the Cotton Bowl after his 15 touchdown and 1700 passing yard season. When the ball is not in the air expect the Cowboys to pound the ground with their rushing attack led by Desmond Roland. The Cowboys finished the year ranked 15th in the nation for points scored at 39.8 per game.
Although the Tigers and Cowboys have had many games end in a one sided victory, both teams feature stout defenses that rank in the top 20 in college football for fewest points allowed per game. Because both teams can put up points in the blink of the eye, the victory may be the team that can make the biggest play on defense. Expect a fun filled and high scoring game that will be determined in the fourth quarter. While the game could go either way, I would not be surprised to see Missouri squeak out of Texas with the Cotton Bowl Championship.