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University of Missouri

Texas-sized Heart

Pinkel records 102nd win as Mizzou defeats Oklahoma State in the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic.

Mizzou vs. Oklahoma State Cotton Bowl.

Josey flexes after putting the Tigers up 33–31.

With 32 players from Texas on Mizzou’s roster and numerous alumni from the Lone Star State playing in the NFL, the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic in Arlington, Texas, was an appropriate setting for Missouri Coach Gary Pinkel’s school-record 102nd victory Jan. 3, 2014. Mizzou senior defensive end Michael Sam sacked Oklahoma State quarterback Clint Chelf with about a minute left in the game, forcing a fumble. Missouri sophomore defensive lineman Shane Ray scooped it up and rumbled 73 yards for a touchdown, clinching the Tigers 41–31 win.

The milestones and accolades were plentiful. Junior running back Henry Josey’s three rushing touchdowns earned him the game’s most outstanding offensive player award, and senior linebacker Andrew Wilson won the award on defense. Junior defensive lineman Kony Ealy, who also recorded two sacks, announced at the post-game press conference his decision to enter the NFL draft. Sam’s sack gave him 11.5 on the season, tying him for the Mizzou single-season record with Aldon Smith, and Pinkel credited his players for passing legendary Missouri Coach Don Faurot on the Mizzou career wins list.

There are a lot of people who have had a lot to do with those wins, and that goes all the way back to (my coaching days in) Toledo,” Pinkel said. “Don Faurot, to be mentioned with his name – who he is and the things he stood for – I’m honored. I like being at Missouri, and I want to continue to build a program.”

Freshman wideout Levi Copelin and Singleton make “snow angels” in the confetti.

Freshman wideout Levi Copelin and Singleton make “snow angels” in the confetti.