OSU preparing to play against another ranked team in the Liberty Bowl
MEMPHIS, Tenn. – While many football teams dread playing higher ranked teams, Oklahoma State seems to perform better when their opponent is ranked.
“We beat two top-10 teams this year, and we were a two-point conversion from beating a third top-10 team. So when we take care of the football, and we compete and play well, we’re a pretty good football team,” said OSU head coach Mike Gundy.
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.
While the Pokes have a good record of close games against ranked teams, Missouri is still expected to win by nine points.
“I didn’t know we were the favorite, but I want to go play our best game. We talk about preparing the right way and then getting into game day, hopefully those habits we’ve formed over the last couple weeks transpire into us playing smart, hard and tough, and making sure we do it the right way,” said Missouri head coach Barry Odom.
“I wish we were a 20-point favorite. Our preparation is the same. Missouri is a really good team – could be the best team we’ve played overall as balanced football team. They’re good all over the board. When you have a quarterback who might be the first player taken in the draft at the position, you’re a really good team. They’re solid, they’re mature. I understand why it’s the way it is, but like I said, our team has worked really hard and I think our coaches have really good plans. I expect our players to play very well. I’m looking forward to the game. I don’t think everybody really talks about the underdog much. I don’t, but maybe the players feel that because I’m sure they’re on social media, they’re out there and they know what’s going on. It probably takes care of itself,” said Gundy.
The AutoZone Liberty Bowl kicks off at 2:45 p.m. on Monday.