Ohio State Football: Three bold predictions for the Cotton Bowl

The Ohio State football team is set to take on Missouri in the Cotton Bowl on Friday. Here are three predictions for the game.

Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback Devin Brown (33) rushes the ball during the NCAA football game
Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback Devin Brown (33) rushes the ball during the NCAA football game / Alex Martin/Journal and Courier / USA
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The Ohio State football team is ready for Friday night. With almost every player available to them, this Buckeye squad should be ready to go and get the bad taste out of its mouth following the loss to Michigan back in November.

For as little hype as this game has had, the past few weeks have been a breath of fresh air for Ohio State. Ryan Day finished off the '24 recruiting class strong and getting a chance to see what Devin Brown can do in this offense should be exciting. He also will have a good stable of weapons to play with, so Brown will get a fair chance to showcase himself for next season.

But this game won't be easy as Missouri has a solid team. Eli Drinkwitz has done a terrific job with the Tigers this season, leading Missouri to its best record since 2014. And it starts with the play of the Tigers quarterback, Brady Cook, who has had an excellent season with 3,189 yards passing and 20 touchdown passes. The Buckeyes will need to keep him in check while also having to keep tabs on running back Cody Schrader, who ran for over 1,400 yards this past season.

Here are three bold predictions for the game.

Nov 25, 2023; Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes wide receiver Xavier Johnson (0) walks
Nov 25, 2023; Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes wide receiver Xavier Johnson (0) walks / Adam Cairns/Columbus Dispatch / USA

No. 1) Xavier Johnson shows up for his last game.

The Ohio State football team will be without a few weapons on offense. TreVeyon Henderson will play but we do know that Marvin Harrison Jr. will all but sit. This cracks the door open for team captain Xavier Johnson to get significant reps in this game.

Remember, it was a year ago when Johnson played a huge role in the College Football Playoff game against Georgia due to injuries. Much of the same applies hear. And with Johnson being a team favorite of Ryan Day, I would expect Day to let Johnson play a meaningful role in his last collegiate football game.

Look for Johnson to get north of ten rushes and five pass receptions in the game for over 100 total scrimmage yards and a touchdown. Johnson will prove why he was given the 'Block O' uniform over the summer as he leaves a very good legacy behind for the next player to wear the uniform.