Ohio State comes up short against Missouri


DALLAS — The problem with revenge tours and making up for a painful loss by winning the next game is they don’t come with guarantees.

They can bring their own disappointments, which is what happened to Ohio State when it followed a loss to Michigan with a 14-3 loss to Missouri in the Cotton Bowl on Friday night.

The Buckeyes (11-2) held on to a 3-0 lead from the time Jayden Fielding hit a 44-yard field goal in the first quarter until Missouri (11-2) scored two fourth-quarter touchdowns on drives of 95 yards and 91 yards.

“Our defense played plenty good enough to win. They played their tails off and ran out of gas a little down the stretch. Fourteen points and 331 yards (by Missouri), they played great, well enough to win. We just couldn’t put it together on offense. That’s the story of the game,” Ohio State coach Ryan Day said.

Missouri coach Eli Drinkwitz also liked what his defense did in holding OSU to three points and 203 yards total offense.

“The story of the game is our defense played hard and refused to give in and our offense just kept chopping wood,” he said.

Missouri quarterback Brady Cook was 11 of 18 for 128 yards and a touchdown passing and rushed for a net of 66 yards on 19 carries. Running back Cody Schrader had 128 yards rushing and a touchdown on 29 carries.

Schrader’s 7-yard touchdown run put Missouri up 7-3 five seconds into the fourth quarter. Then Cook added the clincher with 5:12 left in the game when he connected with Luther Burden for a 7-yard touchdown pass.

Ohio State lost starting quarterback Devin Brown to a high ankle sprain early in the second quarter. Lincoln Kienholz replaced Brown for the rest of the game and completed 6 of 17 passes for 86 yards.

TreVeyon Henderson rushed for 72 yards on 19 carries. And with Marvin Harrison Jr. opting out of playing, Emeka Egbuka was the Buckeyes’ leading receiver with 6 catches for 63 yards.

“I feel like Lincoln was put in a tough spot to say the least. I thought he battled his tail off. But clearly we didn’t help him up front and didn’t run the ball well enough. With a freshman quarterback out there we didn’t run the ball well enough.” Day said.

Neither team did much offensively in the first half when the two teams combined for 12 punts and three points.

Even Jim Tressel, who was so fond of saying the punt was the most important play in football, must have been thinking, “No more, no more punts,” if he was watching the game on television.

Ohio State started all but one of its first-half drives in treacherous territory – at its own 20-yard line, its own 10-yard line, its own 9-yard line, its own 5-yard line, its own 1-yard line and its own 7-yard line.

The one time Ohio State got the football near midfield in the first half it put points on the scoreboard with a 44-yard field goal by Fielding with 3:12 left in the first quarter.

Ohio State had talked about finishing the season well in its bowl game since a few days after a 30-24 loss to Michigan. But it came up short again.

“It hurts to finish the season with two losses in a row. That’s not good enough at Ohio State. We all know that,” Day said.

Defensive end Jack Sawyer, who had three sacks, said, “I wanted to send the seniors out the right way. We put so much work in and it’s tough when you don’t get the outcome you want.”

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