MEMPHIS, Tenn. - A pair of high-powered offenses will meet on the field at the AutoZone Liberty Bowl, and neither team is overlooking the talent of their opponents.
Although the Pokes have had a roller coaster season, Cowboy fans are hoping that they will finish strong against Missouri, who is ranked 23rd in the nation.
“As you can see, you look at some of the games, they play some of their best ball against the best opponents. You’d be crazy to think they weren’t going to come out and play one of their best games right now. Obviously, the seniors coming out in their last game. You watch it, obviously, they’re a good team. They show it on film,” said Paul Adams, Missouri offensive lineman.
This season, OSU defeated 25th ranked Boise State 44-21, and also beat 15th ranked Texas 38-35.
Even if they didn’t win, the Cowboys kept games against other ranked opponents close until the very end. The 4th ranked Sooners beat the Pokes 48-47, and OSU fell to 16th ranked West Virginia 45-41.
Missouri head coach Barry Odom says he has been impressed with how the Cowboys receivers have made plays throughout the season.
“They’re better than pretty good. They’re really, really, really good. Every year, I feel like Oklahoma State has had one or two or three guys that are so explosive. Credit that to Coach Gundy and the way he has recruited and also, how they plan offensively, the way that they’ve developed their system and the way its run. It’s at a high level. We’ve got to defend every inch of the field - the vertical passing game, but also the quarterback run game. They stretch in a lot of ways that cause concern," said Odom.
And the Cowboys say they aren't overlooking Missouri's offense either, which is led by quarterback Drew Lock.
"Missouri could jump right in the Big 12. Offensively, their quarterback could very well be the first quarterback taken in the Draft. They're sound, they use tight ends, they're balanced, they can throw it down the field. He's mobile enough to run some if he wants to. Their defense is really solid. They play man 50 percent of the time, zone 50 percent of the time. Their corners are long. Be a good matchup with our corners and our wide outs. This is a really good football team. I mean, it is what it is. They lost to No. 1, No. 4 and No. 11 and then South Carolina by 2 points, that's it. And beaten some really good SEC teams handedly, so this'll be a good challenge for us but I know our players are excited about competing," said Gundy.