With two teams that mirror each other in many ways, the Cotton Bowl features several intriguing matchups.
One of the more important battles: OSU's secondary against Missouri's receivers.
The Tigers feature a big group of receivers, led by 6-foot-6 Dorial Green-Beckham (the nation's No. 1 recruit in 2012) and 6-4 L'Damian Washington. Marcus Lucas is a 6-5 senior who has also been productive, while 6-2 Bud Sasser has contributed as well.
In quarterback James Franklin and running back Henry Josey, Mizzou has a pair of headliners. But handling the receivers might be the most pressing charge for the Cowboys defense.
“I think the receivers are more dangerous, because Franklin doesn't have to throw a good ball for them to come down with it,” said OSU linebacker Shaun Lewis. “They're so long and rangy and so athletic that they can just go get it wherever he throws it.
“I think that's the most dangerous thing, because you can't really practice that. They're like tight ends across the board, except they run like receivers. That's a challenge in itself.”
Still, it's a challenge that Lewis said he and his guys relish.
“I love it,” he said. “I love a challenge. I want to see how good they really are.”
CLINT CHELF: MOVIE MAN
Cowboys quarterback Clint Chelf made himself a hot topic on Twitter when he, teammates and friends dressed up as the character of Legolas to attend a screening of “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” then shared a photo of the group on Twitter.
“It was a spur of the moment deal,” Chelf explained. “We went and got some stuff, threw together a cheap outfit and called it a day.”
Chelf, Lewis, linebacker Caleb Lavey and center Jake Jenkins were joined by Chelf roommate Tanner Newby — who were all in costume, except Lewis, who appeared as himself.
Seems Chelf is a bit of a movie buff. And he again thought about dressing up to attend “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues.”
“We thought about it,” Chelf said. “We thought about going and grabbing some suits from the thrift store.”
So, who would Chelf have been?
“Probably Brian Fantana,” he said of the Paul Rudd character, “because he has long hair, too. “Caleb is growing out his mustache, so he could be Ron Burgundy. At some point in time during the movie, I thought I was listening to Caleb talk. He sounds just like Ron Burgundy at times.”
Maybe Chelf, a grad student at OSU, is on to a new career as a movie reviewer.
“That might be a good idea,” he said. “We see enough movies. I see a movie about every week. So that could be a good idea, I guess. That would be fun.”
His take on Anchorman 2:
“The first one is tough to beat,” he said. “This one is very funny, though. I will say that it surprised me. It's good.”
FOR OSU SENIORS, IT'S STILL A BIG 12
The Big 12 has undergone a change of face in recent seasons, with defections and additions and a current makeup that features 10 teams.
Still, some Cowboys seniors have played conference games against 12 different schools.
Like Lewis, who has played against the nine current OSU opponents in the Big 12, plus Missouri and Texas A&M in 2011, and Nebraska in 2010.
Safety Daytawion Lowe redshirted in 2010, his second year at OSU. He played as a true freshman in 2009, which means Lowe played against Colorado, but not Nebraska.
“It is crazy,” Lowe said. “I always like to play new teams. It's really just a fun experience, to get to be able to see the approaches from different teams. To get to go on the road, go different places.”