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Cotton Bowl 2014: Oklahoma State vs. Missouri

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Cotton Bowl 2014: Oklahoma State vs. Missouri
Brett Deering/Getty Images
The Cowboys' Clint Chelf's play will be key to their performance against Missouri.

This year’s edition of the Cotton Bowl should be a fun shootout between some familiar rivals when the Oklahoma State Cowboys and Missouri Tigers square off.

The teams may be in different conferences these days, but the Big 12 ties ensure that this matchup will be a fun one.

Jerry Jones’ AT&T Stadium will provide quite the stage for the battle between these two teams, pitting a pair of high-powered offenses against each other.

Below you’ll find all you need to know about the game, from its time and TV info to a game preview.

 

Date: Friday, Jan. 3

Time: 7:30 p.m. ET

Where: AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas

TV: FOX

 

Game Preview

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
James Franklin's return has been huge for the Tigers.

This game shouldn’t be lacking in points in the slightest.

The Tigers are currently piling up 492.9 yards per game, while the Cowboys lead the country with their 440.5 yards per contest.

Yet, in pass defense, each team is truly abysmal—Missouri’s secondary allows 256 yards per game, while Oklahoma State’s yields 245 yards every game.

Combined with Missouri quarterback James Franklin rounding back into form after a midseason injury, this game should end up being quite the one to watch from an offensive perspective.

The Cowboys’ Clint Chelf should add to this excitement as well. Chelf only took over as the team’s starter five games into the season, but since then, he’s thrown for 15 touchdowns and run for six more.

But all this offensive firepower doesn’t mean that the game won’t have its share of defensive highlights as well. 

In particular, Missouri defensive end Michael Sam could cause headaches for the Cowboys’ offense, as ESPN’s Brandon Chatmon explains.

Look out Clint Chelf, Sam is coming for you and he’s been a terror for opposing offenses throughout the year. He led the SEC with 10.5 sacks and 18.5 tackles for loss.

The senior brings a combination of acceleration and athleticism to the table that is very difficult for offenses to stop.

If OSU has any hope to win, it can’t let Sam spend his holiday season in the backfield in hot pursuit of Chelf, the Cowboys quarterback, and OSU's running backs. 

But the Cowboys are acutely aware of what Sam could do to the offense and are planning accordingly.

"We watched him on film and he's going to be tough for our tackles," junior Cowboys offensive lineman Jake Jenkins told ESPN. "I think it will be interesting to watch him and see how we perform against him."

Chelf isn’t any stranger to facing pressure either. Just watch the way he calmly threw for 197 yards and two touchdowns against the Texas Longhorns and their seventh ranked pass rush. 

This bowl will likely ultimately come down to which squad can make plays on defense, since offense should be no issue for either team.

Oklahoma State is fourth in the country in interceptions with 20, so if the Cowboys can avoid giving up too much yardage and force some turnovers along the way, they should have a chance.

But if Missouri can adequately pressure Chelf while scoring points of their own, the Tigers could easily win this instead.

Either way, this Cotton Bowl should be one of the most compelling matchups during all of bowl season.

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