Cotton Bowl Champs: No. 9 Beats No. 7 Ohio State!

Photo of Tiger's win over Ohio-State.

In Arlington, Texas, the 9th-ranked Missouri Tigers (11-2) leaned on their defense for nearly three quarters against the 7th-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes (11-2). However, two successive lengthy touchdown drives changed the momentum, propelling Mizzou to a 14-3 victory in the 88th Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic and marking their fourth 11-victory season in school history.

Trailing 3-0 with 4:25 left in the third quarter, the Tigers initiated an eight-play, 95-yard drive culminating in a seven-yard touchdown run by Cody Schrader, who dragged two OSU defenders into the endzone. A pivotal moment in the drive was a 49-yard play-action pass from Brady Cook to Marquis Johnson.

After an OSU punt, the Tigers embarked on a 91-yard drive from their own nine-yard line. This march featured a 30-yard pass to Theo Wease Jr., powerful runs by Schrader, and a crucial fourth-down run by Cook. Cook then connected with Luther Burden III for a seven-yard TD pass, securing a 14-3 lead.

In Ohio State’s subsequent possession, Daylan Carnell sacked Buckeye quarterback Lincoln Kienholz, causing a fumble that Joe Moore III recovered, enabling the Tigers to run out the clock.

Schrader, with 128 yards on 29 carries, scored a touchdown for the 10th consecutive game, setting a Mizzou-record season rushing total of 1,627 yards. Cook, named the game’s offensive MVP, completed 11-of-18 passes for 128 yards and a touchdown, and ran 19 times for 66 yards.

MU’s defense restricted Ohio State to 203 total yards, recording four quarterback sacks. Johnny Walker, Jr., with 1.5 sacks, earned the game’s defensive MVP. Jaylon Carlies and Triston Newson led the tackling with 11 and 10 respectively.

This victory bolstered Missouri’s all-time bowl record to 16-20, marking their first bowl win since 2015 and Coach Eliah Drinkwitz’s inaugural win in his four-year MU career. It also marked the Tigers’ third consecutive Cotton Bowl triumph, and their record against Big 10 opponents in bowl matchups stands at 3-2. Ohio State’s only points came from a 44-yard first-quarter field goal, with a 48-yard attempt bouncing off the upright in the third quarter. Despite having just 112 total yards in the first half, Missouri finished the game with 331.


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