The first 42 minutes in the 2014 Cotton Bowl didn’t feature many offensive fireworks as the game was predicated on great defensive play from the Missouri Tigers and Oklahoma State Cowboys, but the final 18 minutes turned into a back-and-forth offensive exhibition.
Missouri got on top with a Henry Josey touchdown run late in the first quarter and Oklahoma State quickly responded with a 40-yard touchdown reception for Josh Stewart from Clint Chelf for a 7-7 tie after the first quarter.
Maty Mauk came in at quarterback for the Tigers and looked outstanding–he should be an upgrade over James Franklin as the starter in 2014–and led the Tigers on an 80-yard drive in six plays that culminated in a Marcus Lucas touchdown.
Missouri added an Andrew Baggett field goal as time expired in the first half to take a 17-7 lead at halftime.
The third quarter is when we saw a spark from both teams that led to an outstanding fourth quarter.
Following a Chelf interception that gave Missouri the ball with a 10-point lead late in the third quarter, Franklin did not give Josey a good handoff as he fumbled the exchange on the ensuing play that served as a mulligan for the Pokes.
Three plays later Chelf hit Jhajuan Seales for a 21-yard touchdown to cut the lead to three and set the stage for a frenetic fourth quarter with both offenses clicking.
The two teams matched each other score for score. Oklahoma State tied it with a field goal to start the fourth quarter, then Josey ran 25 yards for his second score of the evening. Chelf matched that with a 23-yard touchdown run of his own on the ensuing drive.
Another Baggett field goal gave Mizzou a short-lived three-point lead because Desmond Roland ran one in from two yards out a mere 1:25 later to put Oklahoma State up 31-27 with 5:04 remaining.
Josey still had some magic left in his legs as he reached the end zone for the third time tonight from Arlington as he dashed in from 16 yards out with 3:08 remaining to take a 34-31 lead.
With Oklahoma State driving deep into Missouri territory and the clock ticking, the Missouri defense needed to make a play. Who did they turn to? None other than SEC Defensive Player of the Year, Michael Sam who had been invisible the entire game.
Sam picked a perfect time to make the biggest play of the game as he came around the edge to sack Chelf and force the fumble which was recovered by Missouri’s Misso Shane Ray at the Missouri 27 and he took it all the way to the house for the game-clinching touchdown and a 73-yard touchdown.
Missouri finishes their season with a 12-2 record after winning the SEC east and picked up their fifth win over a ranked opponent which is the most by the program since 1976. Oklahoma State falls to 10-3 on the season with the 10-point loss.