IRVING, Texas — Andrew Wilson capped a stellar Missouri career with an impressive 15-tackle performance Friday against Oklahoma State in the Cotton Bowl at AT&T Stadium.
By TOD PALMER
The Kansas City Star
Wilson, a senior linebacker and three-year starter from Ray-Pec High School, received the McKnight Trophy as the game’s Outstanding Defensive Player.
He also was the defensive MVP during the Tigers’ last bowl victory, an Independence Bowl win against North Carolina in 2011.
Wilson also earned family bragging rights in the win.
He needed seven tackles to break the career mark his dad, Jay, established at Missouri from 1980-83. Jay Wilson graduated as Missouri’s all-time leader in tackles (323), a record that had since been eclipsed.
It has been eclipsed again.
“I had no idea when it happened,” Andrew said. “I don’t really keep track of stuff like that during the game. I had no idea how many tackles I had until somebody mentioned it after the game.”
Andrew Wilson finished with 332 career tackles, including a career-best 113 as a senior. He moved into the Tigers’ all-time top 10 as well, passing his dad, Erik McMillan (323, 1984-87), Brock Christopher (329, 2005-08) and Jason Simpson (331, 2002-05).
He leaves Missouri No. 10 on the all-time list.
“I didn’t keep track of that at all, because people had been talking my dad,” Wilson said. “I didn’t know about anything else, but it’s cool. It’s a really cool thing.”
Josey joins elite company
There is perhaps no better feel-good story on Missouri’s roster than that of junior running back Henry Josey, who returned this season after sitting out nearly two years after major knee reconstruction.
He capped his comeback season by winning the Sanford Trophy as the Cotton Bowl’s Outstanding Offensive Player.
“I have so many people that have been behind me and pushing me,” Josey said. “Like I tell everybody, it’s never me. You’ve got to have faith. I have faith in God then so many people helped take me to the next level.”
Josey, who rushed for 92 yards on 12 carries, became only the fifth player with at least three rushing touchdowns in the Cotton Bowl.
Former Tigers great Tony Temple set the all-time record with four rushing touchdowns in 2008, but Josey matched Texas’ Bobby Layne (1946), Rice’s Dicky Maegle (1954) and Syracuse’s Jim Brown (1957) with touchdown runs of 3, 25 and 16 yards.
Odds and ends
• Missouri’s 41-31 victory took 4 hours and 19 minutes, making it the longest Cotton Bowl in history. It’s also the last one on Fox as ESPN gains rights to the venerated game next season;
• Missouri sophomore Shane Ray’s 73-yard fumble return touchdown is the longest in Cotton Bowl history;
• Oklahoma State quarterback Clint Chelf’s 381 passing yards, including 156 in the fourth quarter, broke former Texas Tech quarterback Graham Harrell’s record (364 vs. Mississippi, 2009);
• The SEC now owns a six-game winning streak against Big 12 teams in the Cotton Bowl and has won 10 of 11 overall. Oddly, the lone exception was Missouri in 2008 when it defeated Arkansas as a member of the Big 12;
• SEC teams are now 11-0 at AT&T Stadium, including a 5-0 record in the Cotton Bowl;
• The 101 passes Missouri (44) and Oklahoma State (57) set a record along with the 41 combined fourth-quarter points, which was a record for any quarter in any Cotton Bowl.
• The Tigers’ 24 fourth-quarter points set another record as did the Cowboys’ 96 offensive plays and the 187 combined plays. Meanwhile, the 55 combined first downs tied the record set the previous year when Texas A&M beat Oklahoma;