Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic Champions! No. 9 Football Takes Down No. 7 Ohio State

In Arlington, Texas, the 9th-ranked Missouri Tigers (11-2) heavily relied on their defense for almost three quarters before their offense gained momentum against the 7th-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes (11-2). However, the turning point came with two consecutive extended touchdown drives, propelling Mizzou to a 14-3 triumph in the 88th Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic and securing only the fourth 11-victory season in the school’s history.

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

Following a successful defensive stand resulting in an OSU punt, the Tigers assumed possession at their own nine-yard line and advanced 91 yards for another score. The drive commenced with a 30-yard pass to Theo Wease Jr., followed by a series of impactful Schrader runs and a crucial fourth-down run by Cook, ultimately reaching the red zone. Cook then delivered a precise seven-yard TD pass to Luther Burden III, securing a 14-3 lead.

During Ohio State’s subsequent possession, Daylan Carnell executed a crucial sack on Buckeye quarterback Lincoln Kienholz, forcing a fumble that Joe Moore III recovered. From that point, the Tigers effectively ran out the clock.

Cody Schrader, carrying the ball 29 times, amassed 128 yards and maintained his touchdown streak for the 10th consecutive game. This performance propelled him to a season rushing total of 1,627 yards, surpassing the previous Mizzou record set by Tyler Badie two years prior at 1,604 yards.

Recognized as the game’s offensive MVP, Brady Cook completed 11-of-18 passes for 128 yards, including a touchdown, and also showcased his rushing skills with 19 carries for 66 yards.

MU’s defense showcased its dominance by limiting Ohio State to 203 total yards and recording four quarterback sacks. Johnny Walker, Jr. contributed 1.5 sacks and earned the game’s defensive MVP title. Leading the tackles were Jaylon Carlies with 11 and Triston Newson with 10.

The victory improved Missouri’s all-time bowl record to 16-20, marking its first bowl win since 2015 and the inaugural one under Coach Eliah Drinkwitz’s four-year tenure at MU. Notably, this win marked the Tigers’ third consecutive Cotton Bowl triumph. Having defeated the Buckeyes for the first time since 1976, the Tigers now hold a 3-2 all-time bowl record in matchups against Big 10 opponents.

Ohio State’s sole points were secured through a 44-yard field goal by Fielding in the first quarter. Notably, Fielding’s attempt for a 48-yard field goal hit the upright in the third quarter.

Missouri faced a challenging first half, accumulating only 112 total yards. However, they rebounded impressively, concluding the game with a total of 331 yards.

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