Photo Credit: Ben Clanin

Tyler Fitton, 23 Sports

For the second straight year the Missouri Tigers will be going bowling. This season, they’ll be playing will in the Liberty bowl on New Year’s Eve, where they will be taking on the Oklahoma State Cowboys. Many fans were hoping for the Tigers to end up in the “Music City Bowl”, as it is seen by some as more prestigious than the Liberty Bowl, but nonetheless the show must go on.

The No. 23 ranked Tigers have been red-hot in their final games of the season, winning their last four, three of which they’ve won by 20+ points. Senior Tigers’ QB Drew Lock has also been looking at the top of his game, scoring through the air and on the ground. Along with that, the much maligned Missouri defense has finally stepped up and proved themself valuable, finishing the season ranked as the No. 16 most efficient defense in the nation. The Tigers gave up an average of 38.7 points in their first three SEC games, and 15.4 in their final five games in conference.

On the other side of the matchup, Oklahoma State has been hampered by the departure last season’s star QB-WR duo, current Pittsburgh Steelers Mason Rudolph and James Washington. The Cowboys have gone 6-6 this season and 3-6 in Big 12 play. Last year, they went 10-3 and 6-3 in conference. While starting QB Taylor Cornelius’ stats are nothing to scoff at, with 3,642 yards and 28 TDs compared to 11 INTs, it is just no where near the air production that the team had last year when Rudolph threw for 37 TDS to 9 INTS and 4,904 yards.

For the Tigers to get this victory, the defense will need to continue playing like they have in the past few games, and keep the pedal to the metal. As for the offensive side, let Lock loose. This is his final game in a Missouri uniform, so let him go down slinging. Several receivers have stepped up this season, along with a lot of talent in the running game, so let it all be on full display for this grand finale of the season.