2023 Cotton Bowl – Ohio St vs Missouri

2023 Cotton Bowl – Ohio St vs Missouri

posted December 28

The Game

Yes, guy.

This should be one of the best games of the bowl season as the mighty Ohio St Buckeyes battle the upstart Missouri Tigers. Ohio St (11-1) rattled off eleven wins to start the season but dropped the game that mattered vs Michigan (L 30-24). Missouri (10-2) was right in the thick of the SEC East hunt before they dropped a road game at Georgia (L 30-21) and their only other loss came vs LSU.

The Details

Ohio St -3.5 Missouri (49)


“Vegas” Implied Projected Score: Ohio St 26.25 Missouri 22.75

Ohio St offense vs Missouri defense

The Buckeyes haven’t been an offensive powerhouse (#36 FBS total offense, #31 scoring offense) and they’ve had serious problems getting the rushing attack going this season (142 YPG, #85 FBS; 192/180/257 YPG L3Y). Former starting QB Kyle McCord didn’t light up the scoreboard but his stats were pretty good (3,170, 24-6 TD to INT, 9.1 YPA) and he led them to wins over Penn St and Notre Dame. They’ll have to roll with youngster Devin Brown who was a highly-regarded recruit but note that he’s only thrown 22 passes this year. The Buckeyes will be without two of their top-three WRs including superstar Marvin Harrison Jr (1,211, 18.1, 14 TD) and it’s not like the ground game has been working (#85). Missouri has been very sound vs the run (125 YPG, #30 FBS) so we don’t believe that Ohio St will have a ton of success with the rushing attack. It’ll help the mediocre Missouri pass defense (#78 pass efficiency defense) knowing that McCord and Harrison Jr have abandoned the team.

Missouri offense vs Ohio St defense

The Tigers boast a dangerous and balanced offense (#24 FBS total offense, #53 rush, #29 pass) and they’ve got a nice TRIFECTA of weaponry at QB/RB/WR that makes things work. QB Brady Cook is one of the most underrated signal callers in the nation and he’s a dood that can hurt you with his arm (20-6 TD to INT, 9.1 YPA) and his legs (8 rush TD). RB Cody Schrader is a legit #1 RB (1,489, 6.0, 13 TD; 112 yards at Georgia; TD in every game since Sept 16) and WR Luther Burden is a devastating weapon (83, 1,197, 14.4, 8 TD) who leads a dangerous WR corps. The Buckeyes bring one of the best defenses in the country to the table (#3 total defense, #22 run D, #3 pass efficiency D) and the majority of their key players will be participating in this game which is a nice change. However, it’s a bit concerning that this is the best offense that Ohio St has faced all year (stop with the Michigan crap), so it’ll be interesting to see how they stack up vs Missouri’s attack.

Trends, Intangibles and More!

Ohio St HC Ryan Day is 2-3 SU in bowl action but it’s not like he’s faced a collection of STIFFS during his time in Columbus….Missouri HC Eliah Drinkwitz is 0-2 in bowl games as the Tigers lost in the Armed Forces Bowl to Army (!) and in last year’s Gasparilla Bowl…..The Tigers probably have the motivational edge given that this is one of the biggest games for Missouri football since the DAWN OF CIVILIZATION and Ohio St had big plans for the CFP……Both teams have excellent FG kickers so we don’t think many points will be left on the table……For those that haven’t seen Missouri’s THICKER KICKER he’s not only 459 pounds but he’s been known to nail 90 yard bombs in practice **.

** needs fact check


We’ll roll with the underdog in what should be a really good game. The Big Ten wasn’t overly impressive this season to say the least and the Buckeyes will be playing without their starting QB, and apparently according to the media, the best WR that’s ever lived. Ohio St hasn’t been able to get the ground game going and it’ll be tough to move the chains consistently with a raw QB and no “Maserati Marv”, or “Marvelous Marv”, or “Meticulous Marv” or whatever they’re calling him on FOX whilst drooling all over themselves. These rosters look pretty even to us so we’ll grab the points and see what happens.


Official play – Missouri +3.5 -106

+3.5 is widely available. +4 is also relatively easy to find. We’ll go with +3.5 for record keeping purposes but please shop around as always for the best number possible.

‘Official play’ implies this pick is one of our favorites of the week (perceived value, match-up, coaching, trends, etc.). We’re currently playing these picks for the same amount as the leans but it’s up to you how you want to manage your bankroll. Please see the Week in Review posts for more detail.

‘Lean’ implies we are placing a wager on the game.

‘No leanage’ implies we won’t have any action on the game.

Team totalsWe list the implied number based on the point spread and total when our analysis is posted. If a team total ends up being an official play we will post a widely available number at the time of pick release.