The Cotton Bowl was supposed to be a showcase of offensive firepower, but both Missouri and Oklahoma State have been started slowly. Missouri head coach Gary Pinkell even made a quarterback change in the second quarter in hopes of lighting a fuse, and it may have worked. Missouri leads their old Big 12 competition, 17-7, at the half.
Missouri quarterback James Franklin got off to a horrid start, completing just four of his first 16 pass attempts for 33 yards and an interception. Maty Mauk took all of two pass attempts to nearly equal the total yardage through the air (32 yards) and he completed a touchdown pass to Marcus Lucas to give the Tigers a 14-7 lead early in the second quarter. Mauk is also leading all players with 73 rushing yards at the half for good measure. Franklin did later return to the field to lead the offense, so Pinkell may be looking for ways to use both of his quarterbacks.
Oklahoma State’s offense is still capable of breaking out at any moment, but they are being kept under control by Missouri’s bend-but-don’t-break defense so far. The defense is not playing too poorly either. Both teams are putting up pretty even numbers, but if Mauk continues to find a way to make some things happen in the second half then the Cowboys are going to need to find some way to turn in some points in a hurry. The up-tempo offense has not had a chance to do much so far.