University of Missouri

Missouri headed to the Liberty Bowl for an old Big 12 matchup against Oklahoma State

Memphis native Tyler Badie on Mizzou making the Liberty Bowl

Missouri tailback Tyler Badie talks about the Tigers trip to the Liberty Bowl. Badie hails from Memphis.
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Missouri tailback Tyler Badie talks about the Tigers trip to the Liberty Bowl. Badie hails from Memphis.

Barry Odom is going back to Memphis.

Missouri learned its bowl destination on Sunday and will head to the Liberty Bowl to play Oklahoma State on Dec. 31. The bowl trip is Missouri’s second in as many years after falling to Texas in the Texas Bowl last season.

The Tigers have played in the Liberty Bowl twice before, beating LSU in 1978 and losing to Purdue in 1980.

Odom was the defensive coordinator at Memphis for three seasons before taking the same position at Missouri. Since becoming the Tigers’ coach in 2015, Odom has recruited Memphis hard, landing the likes of Missouri tailback Tyler Badie and slot receiver Johnathon Johnson among others.

Both Badie and Johnson went to the Liberty Bowl often as kids and Johnson said he remembers watching Arkansas beat Kansas State in the 2016 Liberty Bowl. Badie said his phone keeps going off for ticket requests.

“It’s been crazy. A lot of people calling me and contacting me,” Badie said.

The matchup against Oklahoma State is rematch of the 2014 Cotton Bowl and brings back a familiar foe from the days of the Big 12. The last time they met, Missouri beat the Cowboys in Dallas, where many remember former MU star Shane Ray’s fumble recovery for a touchdown that sealed the game. Missouri leads the all-time series against Oklahoma State 29-23. Odom said he watched two Cowboys games from earlier this season shortly after learning they would be the opponent.

OSU coach Mike Gundy is no stranger to MU or Odom from their days in the Big 12, so Missouri’s coach wasn’t really surprised by what he saw on film.

“They’re explosive on offense,” Odom said. “(Gundy’s) done it at a high level for a long time. He’ll have them ready to go play.”

Cowboys offensive line coach Josh Henson was the offensive coordinator for Gary Pinkel and was the lead recruiter for redshirt seniors Paul Adams and Kevin Pendleton. Henson was the first of three offensive coordinators that quarterback Drew Lock played for.

Last season Missouri had offensive coordinator Josh Heupel and offensive line coach Glen Elarbee depart during bowl practices after Heupel was hired as the head coach at Central Florida. Elarbee followed him.

Adams said the team has learned how to handle bowl season and the distractions that come with it after dealing with it the hard way last season.

“We tried to not make it (a distraction),” he said. “We tried not to make the excuses. But it’s hard when you have someone making play calls the last two years and then something like that happens.”

Odom’s nephew Baron Odom is a redshirt freshman on the Cowboys. Baron Odom’s father, Brad, is the older brother of MU’s coach and Brian Odom, one of the Tigers’ linebackers coaches.

“My older brother is an instigator in a lot of ways,” Odom said. “Always has been.”

Odom declined to name his favorite barbecue joint in Memphis saying, “I was going to to say Kansas City. I learned how to answer that question.”

Kickoff is slated for 2:45 p.m. and the game will air on ESPN.

According to the athletic department, Mizzou is allotted 8,000 tickets, which are priced at $85 and $95. They can be purchased online at, by calling 800-228-7297 or in person the Mizzou Arena box office from 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Tiger Scholarship Fund members and season-ticket holders must place orders by noon Wednesday to receive seating priority.

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Alex Schiffer

Alex Schiffer covers University of Missouri athletics for The Star.

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