ARLINGTON, Texas — Their teammates already in the locker room, Caleb Lavey and Charlie Moore lingered on the turf Friday night.
Even as the post-game celebration started for Missouri, the OklahomaState seniors made a slow journey off the field. They hugged some friends and family. They snapped some pictures. They didn’t want this to end.
Especially not this way.
Missouri 41, OSU 31.
On a night when 28 seniors ended their Cowboy careers, they were left with a heartbreaker of a final chapter. The offense sputtered too much, and the defense failed to get a stop when it needed one.
Shades of Bedlam.
Shades of previous Cotton Bowls, too.
“We’re very, very proud of the 28 seniors,” Cowboy head coach Mike Gundy said. “We just didn’t make the plays in the end.”
This bowl hasn’t been kind to the Cowboys. Three times they’ve come to the Cotton Bowl in the past 11 seasons. Three times they’ve played M-I-S teams. Three times they’ve had disappointing results.
Early on, Friday night looked like the 2010 Cotton Bowl, the Cowboys’ last appearance in the game. In that game, OSU turned the ball over seven times, had eight punts and managed only nine first downs in a clunker of a 21-7 loss to Mississippi.
Friday night followed a similar script for the better part of three quarters.
The Cowboy defense was masterful, holding the Tigers to 125 yards through three quarters and coming up with two turnovers, but the Cowboy offense was sloppy. It managed only 14 points with unimaginative play calls and a pair of Chelf interceptions.