But OSU put together an uneven performance in Bedlam, one that can't be replicated if the Cowboys expect to beat Missouri. Several Tigers remain from the last time these two teams met in 2011 — including quarterback James Franklin and running back Henry Josey — who helped propel Missouri into the national conversation as the SEC East champion.
“I think it's gonna be a great game,” Gundy said. “I think you have two teams that arguably very well could have been in BCS games. I know the Cotton Bowl's excited, and we feel the same way.”
The disappointment from Bedlam might linger as players get a few days off during finals week while coaches go out to recruit.
But soon, the Cowboys must rally for one more game against a top-10 opponent that will be played on Jerry Jones' stage and in prime recruiting territory.
“For these seniors, this is all we have,” Lewis said. “This group won't come together like this again and come to perform, so we're gonna give everything that we've got for the next game we have.”