Ohio State football vs. Missouri: Three keys to victory in the Cotton Bowl

The Ohio State football team has one last game to play in 2023. Here are the keys to getting another win in the state of Texas in a bowl game and ending the college football season on a positive note.
Penn State v Ohio State
Penn State v Ohio State / Ben Jackson/GettyImages
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3. The Ohio State football team must stop the run from breaking them down

One of the big reasons why the Ohio State football team lost to TTUN was their inability to stop the run on Michigan's final drive. The Wolverines kept the ball for over seven minutes and kicked a field goal to give them a six-point lead. That left the Buckeyes without enough time to run an effective offense to score a game-winning touchdown.

The Buckeye defense has been good all year long. They are second in the country in points per game allowed, third in total yards allowed, and first in passing yards. Their run defense, while still pretty good, ranks far below those high marks, sitting at 23rd.

Cody Schrader is Missouri's most important player on offense. The running back has almost 1,500 yards and 13 touchdowns on the season. If he gets going, the Buckeyes are in massive trouble. Ohio State has to stop him if they want to win the game.

Forcing Mizzou to pass is going to be the focal point of Jim Knowles' defensive game plan. He wants the strongest part of his defense to be going against the Tigers. If Mizzou is able to gain big chunks of yards on the ground, this could go very bad very quickly for the Buckeyes.

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If the Ohio State football team can accomplish these three things, they should be able to end the season with a win and go into 2024 feeling good about themselves. It would be really nice to head into the new year with a Buckeye victory.