December 24, 2013

Final exam

The Oklahoma State Cowboys may have finished third in the Big 12, but they'll be facing the second place finisher from the powerhouse SEC.

The Missouri Tigers overcame injuries at quarterback during the season and surprised many by making it to the SEC championship game, losing in a shoot out to Auburn, 59-42.

The Tigers are coached by Gary Pinkel, who has more than 100 wins in his 13 years at the school. OSU and Mizzou are familiar with each other from not only playing in the same conference for many years, but also going after the same recruits on a regular basis.

Not much has changed since Mizzou left the conference and the familiarity between the two teams helps both coaching staffs prepare.

"Their schemes are really similar to what they've done in the past," OSU coach Mike Gundy said. "They're really similar in their style of play to how they were in the past.

"It should be a great game."

The Tigers defense will aim to confuse the Cowboys up front. Safeties play near the line of scrimmage and don't tip their hand of whether they will blitz or drop into coverage. Each player knows the scheme inside and out, and that's a big reason the team made it this far.

"I think they mix up their defensive coverages very well," OSU offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich said. "They mix it up and give you a variety of different looks but then can disguise as well."

The two teams last played each other in 2011, but...

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