WHO: No. 23 Missouri (8-4) vs. Oklahoma State
WHAT: The 60th AutoZone Liberty Bowl
WHEN: 2:45 p.m. ET, ESPN
WHERE: Liberty Bowl Stadium, Memphis
THE SKINNY: It’s the 53rd all-time meeting between these former Big 8 and Big 12 bunkmates, but just the second since Mizzou departed for the SEC. It’s also the swan song for a pair of senior quarterbacks in Missouri’s Drew Lock and Oklahoma State’s Taylor Cornelius.
Lock will bow out after four years as the Tigers’ starter and 1,515 career passes, while 441 of Cornelius’ 465 career passes were thrown in this, his fifth year in the program.
Mizzou closed the year well, turning a 4-4 mark and an 0-4 SEC start into an 8-4 year finish and a level 4-4 mark in conference play, with three of those wins coming by 21 points or more. Oklahoma State, meanwhile, lost six of its last nine games, and the last time the Cowboys held an opponent under 28 points came in a 44-21 drubbing of No. 25 Boise State all the way back on Sept. 15.
So, it would stand to reason that if Oklahoma State is to keep up in this game, the Pokes will have to do so through the efforts of Cornelius, wide receiver Tylan Wallace (79 grabs for 1,408 yards and 11 touchdowns) and running back Chuba Hubbard, who played well in the absence of Justice Hill.
But the feeling here is that Lock out-plays Cornelius and Larry Rountree III out-rushes Hubbard.
THE PICK: Missouri 42, Oklahoma State 34