Mizzou to face old rival Oklahoma State at AutoZone Liberty Bowl

Mizzou to face old rival Oklahoma State at AutoZone Liberty Bowl
(Source: WMC Action News 5)

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Old rivals will meet again on December 31.

Sunday, officials announced the Missouri Tigers will face off against Oklahoma State at the 60th annual AutoZone Liberty Bowl at 2:45 p.m.

The game will be televised by ESPN.

It’s the third AutoZone Liberty Bowl appearance for #23 ranked Mizzou. The Tigers played in the 1978 (vs. LSU) and 1980 (vs. Purdue) games.

Oklahoma State will be making its first trip to the AutoZone Liberty Bowl.

The Cowboys’ offense ranks in the Top 15 nationally in scoring offense, total offense and passing offense. OSU is led by Biletnikoff Award finalist Tylan Wallace and first-team All-Big 12 running back Justice Hill. Quarterback Taylor Cornelius finished ranked in the Top 10 nationally in passing yards, passing touchdowns and total offense.

Oklahoma State has wins this season over nationally ranked teams Texas, West Virginia and Boise State. The Cowboys narrowly lost 48-47 on a last-minute play to Oklahoma.

Quarterback Drew Lock leads the Mizzou offense, which is among the nation’s most prolific in scoring and total offense. Lock is considered the top QB in this year’s NFL draft. He’s second on the SEC’s career passing yardage list (11,820) and third on the TD list (96). Lock is a finalist for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award and the Manning Award. Mizzou TE Albert Okwuegbunam is a finalist for the Mackey Award.

The Tigers closed out their 8-win regular season with four straight victories. A road win against nationally ranked Florida, Vanderbilt, Tennessee and Arkansas.

Third-year head coach Barry Odom has now led the Tigers to their second straight bowl game. He had this to say about the matchup:

“We’re very pleased and excited to be part of the 60th annual AutoZone Liberty Bowl, this is a great reward for our team for the work they’ve put in this season. There are a lot of reasons why this is an outstanding game for not only our program, but for our school and our fans too. Memphis is a great town to spend time in, my family and I obviously have ties there, and we’re looking forward to being back among some very good friends. It’s an easy drive for our fans to get to, and we’re expecting a great turnout from them to come see this senior class of 19 guys represent us for the last time. The AutoZone Liberty Bowl has featured some of the all-time greats in college football over the years, and Mizzou has a proud tradition with this game as well. Congratulations to Coach Mike Gundy and his Oklahoma State team, we’re looking forward to a very challenging matchup.”

The Cowboys are led by Mike Gundy, the winningest coach in school history. Gundy had this to say about the game:

“The AutoZone Liberty Bowl is one of the most tradition-rich bowl games there is and we’re excited for the chance to be part of that for the first time this year. We have a great deal of respect for Coach Odom and his program at Missouri and look forward to renewing a series with them that goes way back. This should be a great game.”

Steve Ehrhart, Executive Director of the AutoZone Liberty Bowl, had this to say about the matchup:

“We’re excited to welcome these two-high scoring teams to the AutoZone Liberty Bowl. Congratulations to Mizzou head coach Barry Odom. He has the Tigers on a roll with four straight wins, an 8-win season and a number 23 national ranking. We invite all Mizzou fans to join the Tigers in celebrating their season at the AutoZone Liberty Bowl.”
“We’re thrilled to invite Oklahoma State to the AutoZone Liberty Bowl for the first time. The Cowboys are one of the most successful and tradition-rich teams in the Big 12. Head coach Mike Gundy’s teams are known as entertaining and high-scoring, we’re looking forward to hosting them and their fans for the first time in our 60th Anniversary game.”
“The highest scoring game in AutoZone Liberty Bowl history is the 2004 game when Louisville and Boise State combined for 84 points. That record may be in jeopardy this year. If so, it would be an incredible display of offense for the fans in attendance and the millions watching on national television.”

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