Schrader, Missouri upset Ohio State

Published 1:09 am Saturday, December 30, 2023

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — All-America running back Cody Schrader bulled through two defenders to open the fourth quarter with ninth-ranked Missouri’s first score in the Cotton Bowl.

That 7-yard touchdown run was a fitting play for the former walk-on, and finish for these Tigers, who wrapped up an 11-win season with a 14-3 win over No. 7 Ohio State on Friday night.

“I couldn’t have drawn it up any more perfect,” quarterback Brady Cook said. “He embodies what our team is, and what our values are and how we operate.”

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In a game with almost as many total punts (16) as points, Missouri (11-2) suddenly had consecutive scoring drives of more than 90 yards after punting eight times before that. Cook threw a 7-yard TD to Luther Burden III with 5:12 left in the game.

Ohio State (11-2), which was undefeated before losing its regular-season finale to Michigan, played without two-time All-America receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. The standout junior was on the sideline, but opted out of playing. He hasn’t announced yet if he will enter the NFL draft.

The Buckeyes were already without starting quarterback Kyle McCord, who left the program earlier this month to transfer to Syracuse. Devin Brown, who took over as the starter, left the game in the middle of the second quarter with a high left ankle sprain. They finished with only 203 total yards.

After finishing 6-7 with bowl losses each of the past two years, Missouri wrapped up coach Eliah Drinkwitz’s fourth season by winning 11 games for the first time since 2014.

“I think tonight was a testament to a wilderness brotherhood. A bunch of guys that have fought through adversity their entire lives and careers,” Drinkwitz said. “We’re not bluebloods. We’re a dirty, hard-working brotherhood that loves each other, fight for each other.”

Missouri had only 120 total yards before the eight-play, 95-yard drive that ended with Schrader, the former NCAA Division II standout and walk-on who finished with 128 yards, running through two defenders for his 14th TD — and 10th consecutive game with a score. Cook had a 15-yard run before a 50-yard pass to a wide-open Marquis Johnson.

The Tigers then went 91 yards in 13 plays, including Cook converting fourth-and-1 with a 2-yard plunge, for Burden’s score.

“That’s just grit,” Cook said. “That’s a testimony to all the work this team has put in and a focus on being a gritty team. Not let adversity get you down and just go back to work.”

Brown appeared to get hurt when he was sacked on a third-down play late in the first quarter. He returned when the Buckeyes got the ball back, but true freshman Lincoln Kienholz finished the game after that.

With McCord gone, Brown took over as the starter after not playing since Oct. 21, and was 4-of-6 passing for 20 yards while getting sacked three times. Kienholz was finished 6 of 17 for 86 yards and lost a fumble while being sacked with 3:13 left.

“For Devin, I know he wanted to play in this game worse than anybody. And even after he hurt himself, he wanted to get back in there and actually did it for a series,” Buckeyes coach Ryan Day said. “It wasn’t fair for him. He couldn’t move.”

Ohio State’s only points came on Jayden Fielding’s 44-yard field goal with 3:12 left in the first quarter, and the Buckeyes punted their other six possessions before halftime. Fielding’s 48-yard attempt on the opening drive of the second half ricocheted high off the upright and back into the end zone.

The Buckeyes never reached the red zone on their 11 possessions (eight punts).


Schrader had 14 carries for 68 yards in the fourth quarter, after 60 yards on 15 carries before that. He finished with a Missouri single-season record 1,627 yards rushing, surpassing Tyler Badie’s 1,604 yards in 2021. Schrader is the national leader with 125.2 yards per game.


Jack Sawyer matched an Ohio State bowl record with three sacks, after the junior defensive end had only 3 1/2 in the first 12 games this season. The Buckeyes finished with six against Cook and the Tigers.

“I’m just upset about the game,” Sawyer said. “It’s tough when you don’t get the outcome you want, and I just want to give Lincoln a shoutout for stepping in there and playing with confidence in a tough spot.”


Missouri expects to have Cook back for his third season as its starting quarterback, along with top receiving target Burden. The Tigers open the 2024 season Aug. 31 at home against Murray State.

Ohio State will likely have Brown, Kienholz and five-star prospect Air Noland competing for the quarterback job in the spring. There is no certainty of who will be the starter when the Buckeyes open the 2024 season at home against Akron.

Missouri 0 0 0 14 14
Ohio St. 3 0 0 0 3

First Quarter

OSU–FG Fielding 44, 3:12.

Fourth Quarter

MIZZ–Schrader 7 run (Mevis kick), 14:55.

MIZZ–Burden 7 pass from Cook (Mevis kick), 5:12.



First downs 19 12
Total Net Yards 331 203
Rushes-yards 53-203 33-97
Passing 128 106
Punt Returns 1-1 1-2
Kickoff Returns 0-0 0-0
Interceptions Ret. 0-0 0-0
Comp-Att-Int 11-18-0 10-24-0
Sacked-Yards Lost 6-36 4-19
Punts 8-40.75 8-48.25
Fumbles-Lost 1-0 2-1
Penalties-Yards 7-40 8-57
Time of Possession 33:53 26:07



RUSHING–Missouri, Schrader 29-128, Cook 19-66, Burden 1-20, (Team) 4-(minus 11). Ohio St., Henderson 19-72, X.Johnson 5-35, Kienholz 6-2, D.Brown 3-(minus 12).

PASSING–Missouri, Cook 11-18-0-128. Ohio St., Kienholz 6-17-0-86, D.Brown 4-6-0-20, Egbuka 0-1-0-0.

RECEIVING–Missouri, Wease 4-43, Burden 3-15, Cooper 2-18, Marq.Johnson 1-50, Norfleet 1-2. Ohio St., Egbuka 6-63, X.Johnson 2-31, Scott 1-8, Tate 1-4.

MISSED FIELD GOALS–Ohio St., Fielding 48.