Posted January 04, 2014

Missouri pries away 41-31 Cotton Bowl win over Oklahoma State

Bowls, Cotton Bowl, Gary Pinkel, Mike Gundy
Henry Josey rushed for X yards and X touchdowns to lead Missouri to a win over Oklahoma St. (Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Henry Josey (20) rushed for three touchdowns to lead Missouri to a win over Oklahoma St. (Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

ARLINGTON – Watching Henry Josey run for his third touchdown against Oklahoma State in the Cotton Bowl was like seeing a ghost. You weren’t sure you saw it at all, and it definitely wasn’t supposed to be there.

Last year Josey didn’t get to play football. And Missouri didn’t make a bowl game for the first time since 2004. Now he and the Tigers are Cotton Bowl winners, after a 41-31 victory at AT&T Stadium. The junior running back had 94 yards and those three rushing touchdowns, showing good burst and reads on his cuts, and Missouri won 12 games for the first time since the 2007-08 season. That also happens to be the last time the Tigers were in the Cotton Bowl.

Josey missed the entire 2012 season after a knee injury he suffered against Texas. At the time, Mizzou athletics head physician Dr. Pat Smith said, “It’s a tragic fluke, a one-in-a-million type of injury.” There were doubts whether he’d ever play again. On Friday night, he was awarded outstanding player of the game and was taking questions about his draft status.

“He’s special,” Missouri coach Gary Pinkel said. “That’s what you see on the field. But the reason he’s special, he’s got great athleticism, he’s tough, he’s strong, all those other things. But his heart, you can’t measure how big it is, his determination, his perseverance. Once he overcame that injury, I mean, you know, you grow from those things. He’s now different now. Remarkably he’s an even better player now.”

There was a scare on one of Josey’s long runs early in the game when Daytawion Lowe was flagged for a face mask and kind of for throwing Henry Josey into one of the bright and shiny AT&T barriers protecting the Missouri cheerleaders. It was hard not to think about the hit that shoved Josey into the cart on the sidelines in the SEC championship against Auburn. Josey was okay, and after the penalty the Tigers had first-and-goal. Josey scored two plays later on a three-yard run to put Mizzou up 7-0.

That seemed to wake up the crowd and the Cowboys’ offense, which went 75 yards in five plays, including a 40-yard Clint Chelf-to-Josh Stewart score to tie it up on the next possession. It was a dogfight from there, with Oklahoma State eventually taking a 31-27 lead off a Desmond Roland two-yard score coming off back-to-back big plays from Cowboys’ senior QB Chelf.

Missouri answered right back with that third Josey score from 16 yards out, and OSU had the ball down 34-31. Chelf (33-of-57, 381 yards, 3 total TDs) looked to have a bit more magic in him, but his fumble recovered by Shane Ray taken 73 yards for a touchdown sealed it for the Tigers.

It’s only fitting the Cotton Bowl is going to be part of the College Football Playoff rotation. Missouri and Oklahoma State are exactly the type of teams looking to benefit from the new system. With a little luck, the Cowboys or the Tigers will get to play there again in a game that means even more. AT&T Stadium will be the home to the 2014-15 National Championship, and the Cotton Bowl will be a semifinal game in 2015-16 and every third year after that.

“I just don’t know if there’s a better facility out there that puts on a show and is accommodating to the game,” Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy said. “It’s very impressive. I think that whoever made the decision made a good decision to give these people the opportunity to have that national championship game.”

Coming into the game, there was the sense both teams were sitting at the nexus of two different planes of existence. Oklahoma State was a win away from a Big 12 title. Missouri was a win away from potentially playing in the national championship.

There’s an identity crisis in play for the Cowboys and the Tigers. Are they aiming to be elite? When you’ve been tenured as long as both Gundy and Pinkel have, the fluctuations that surround other programs tend not to constrict and suffocate. But how much further can Missouri and Oklahoma State climb?

If the goal is consistently winning 10 games and having a shot at the college football playoff down the road, OSU and Mizzou are right there. If there’s the aspiration for something greater, someone’s likely going to be disappointed, whether you have a running back as talented as Josey or not.

Maybe that’s not such a bad place to be in the long run. The future is still so unknown with how much college football will change when the playoff finally arrives. As former Oklahoma State running back and Heisman Trophy winner Barry Sanders told SI.com back in November,

“It’s been talked about for so long, and those individuals who watched the game in my era, we remember the days when you had champions crowned and there was always a dispute or an argument. “Have they played such-and-such team?” You have two teams finishing at the top, both of them were undefeated, and they never played each other. It was always in doubt.”

The only thing in doubt now is whether or not the existence of dynasties is still possible. A team can’t dominate its conference, go undefeated and suddenly be awarded a shot at the title. Before the BCS arrived, you didn’t even have a chance to settle it between two teams. With the playoff in place, this opens the door for Missouri, Oklahoma State, or even a Baylor, UCF or Michigan State to have a hot season and parlay that into a darkhorse championship appearance.

The teams that are “consistently good, not occasionally great” (to borrow a phrase from Bowling Green coach Dino Babers) are now at an advantage they weren’t afforded before. There are more seats at the table now from year to year. The Tigers – and the Cowboys – are hungry for more.

“They say we have to get back to the attitude and compete for championships around here,” Pinkel said. “This is what they’re telling me in January and February in my office. We went about that, goal setting. Certainly more emphasis with our team on those things. We stayed very healthy this year. But certainly the senior class, I’ll always remember them for getting Mizzou back to its winning ways.”

10 comments
Smoothkaos
Smoothkaos

Nobody will change his mind if the replay as well as the actual pass interference that really did occur in my eyes didn't.  Dude is an OSU homer thru and thru just like all other teams whining about their team losing and/or losing to an SEC team.  Homers do the same thing to the former Big-East teams in basketball every year as well.

Prowler_xxx
Prowler_xxx

OSU is the definition of thug football, the boosters learned not to pay the recruits, they pay the white trash hookers and when they win they get the hookers, when they lose, they don't. Not all the players of course but the higher rated players yes. You think the town of Stinkwater has anything to offer a stud player, well it doesn't so they started the bootycall program Choke Gundys first year as head coach. They will always suck, get all the way to the end sometimes, but fail everytime, poor foooools!

humdrumdrumhumming
humdrumdrumhumming

please, there was only one play that mattered in this game..


tie game, 5 minutes left, great interception for a touchdown by Ok. st. to go up seven…



very, very late flag on a terrible pass interference took the game away from Oklahoma state and handed Missouri's offense their last points of the game…


Oklahoma state won this game fair and square, the criminals in the SEC bribe officials regularly, and the head official on this game retired afterwards…..



i've watched every bowl game the SEC has played and it's unbelievable the calls they've gotten… bad calls in those games have gone about 15-2 in the SEC's favor…


doesn't seem like coincidence when you're talking about pro sports franchises that spend hundreds of millions of dollars on one sports team, pay their coaches more money than anyone in their entire state… and offer some below average education the side…


Sleazy


Ethics


Conference

EvilJimmyJames
EvilJimmyJames

@humdrumdrumhumming you obviously didn't watch the replay and Cowboy's player roll the Missouri receiver down the filed before the interception. Even the commentators reviewed and agreed.  I love reading comments of bitter fans. 

humdrumdrumhumming
humdrumdrumhumming

@DanMcDermott @humdrumdrumhumming  


sure, but tell it to Fox who saw the play like it happened




3. Oklahoma State's Tyler Patmon's pick-six being wiped out by a questionable pass interference call changed everything

As if Franklin's final line wasn't bad enough, it could have been much, much worse. With the game knotted up at 24-24 in the fourth quarter, Franklin took a shot down the middle of the field toward Green-Beckham that ended up in the hands of defensive back Tyler Patmon, who subsequently took it back to the house and sent an orange-clad crowd into a frenzy.

Only problem: the play was called back on account of a penalty.

Patmon was called for pass interference on Green-Beckham, a call that the Oklahoma State coaching staff certainly found worth debating -- on replay, it appeared there was some contact before the pass reached its destination, but not to the extent that a flag had to be thrown -- as it would have completely changed the entire complexion of the game. With Franklin struggling and Chelf & Co. beginning to find a rhythm, the pick-six could have served as a de facto game-winner. Instead, Missouri used the penalty to drive down for a field goal (taking the lead, 27-24).


Oklahoma State would take the lead on the following possession on Demond Roland's two-yard run, but that field goal prevented the Cowboys from taking a definitive lead and possibly putting the SEC challengers away.

humdrumdrumhumming
humdrumdrumhumming

@EvilJimmyJames @humdrumdrumhumming  


fox


3. Oklahoma State's Tyler Patmon's pick-six being wiped out by a questionable pass interference call changed everything

As if Franklin's final line wasn't bad enough, it could have been much, much worse. With the game knotted up at 24-24 in the fourth quarter, Franklin took a shot down the middle of the field toward Green-Beckham that ended up in the hands of defensive back Tyler Patmon, who subsequently took it back to the house and sent an orange-clad crowd into a frenzy.

Only problem: the play was called back on account of a penalty.

Patmon was called for pass interference on Green-Beckham, a call that the Oklahoma State coaching staff certainly found worth debating -- on replay, it appeared there was some contact before the pass reached its destination, but not to the extent that a flag had to be thrown -- as it would have completely changed the entire complexion of the game. With Franklin struggling and Chelf & Co. beginning to find a rhythm, the pick-six could have served as a de facto game-winner. Instead, Missouri used the penalty to drive down for a field goal (taking the lead, 27-24).

Oklahoma State would take the lead on the following possession on Demond Roland's two-yard run, but that field goal prevented the Cowboys from taking a definitive lead and possibly putting the SEC challengers away.

humdrumdrumhumming
humdrumdrumhumming

@EvilJimmyJames @humdrumdrumhumming 


i love people that are so dumb they don't realize commentators are strongly encouraged to agree with the officials so it doesn't seem like Missouri cheated…


there was no foul, that was a pick six to win the game and beat the SEC -- again..