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Top Moments of the 2010s: Michael Sam & Shane Ray seal a Cotton Bowl win

Michael Sam stripped the ball, Shane Ray ran away to win the Cotton Bowl.

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

The 2013 football season was certainly a memorable one. From the 7-0 start with wins over Georgia, Florida, and road wins over Vanderbilt and Indiana, to the 4-2 finish with great wins over Ole Miss, Texas A&M, and tough losses to South Carolina and to Auburn in the SEC Championship game. Though it all it was fun and exciting.

There was a bit of a hangover following the defensive — ahem — hiccups against Auburn in the Championship Game. But a trip to the Cotton Bowl is as good of a consolation prize as you could ask for in 2013, and facing an old Big 8 & 12 conference foe in Oklahoma State set the stage for a great game.

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But the play of the game, which sealed the win was the scoop and score. The game was a good and tight contest throughout. At the start of the 4th quarter the game was knotted at 17. Both teams exchanged scores until finally Henry Josey scampered into the end zone to put the Tigers ahead 34-31. With just over 3 minutes to play the Cowboys got the ball back and started marching the ball down the field.

It was time for the Mizzou Defense to make a play, and who better than the SEC Defensive Player of the Year, Michael Sam. Sam led the team with 10.5 sacks, and he had the legs and burst for one more.

Sam curved around the edge right as Cowboy Quarterback Clint Chelf was raising the ball up to pass. He hesitated and began to step forward, as he did he brought the ball back down slightly and Sam slammed into Chelf’s side raking his arm across the ball and taking Chelf down to the turf. The ball squirted loose.

Kony Ealy had dropped into coverage, but Shane Ray was standing right there. He picked up the ball and he and Ealy ran clean and untouched to the end zone, putting the Tigers up 41-31, sealing the game.

Shane Ray Cotton Bowl

The Tigers were able to exhale, and celebrate the win. It even spurned this amazing video of Gary Pinkel dancing. Just watch: