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Words from Eli Drinkwitz and Theo Wease Jr. as Mizzou arrives in Texas for the Cotton Bowl

Drew Lock, Mookie Cooper, returning home, and an injury update were topics of discussion for today as Mizzou is just six days out from playing Ohio State.

Missouri v Arkansas Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Missouri arrived in the Dallas-Forth Worth area six days before facing No. 7 Ohio State at Jerry’s World, officially known as AT&T Stadium. Both Eli Drinkwitz and Theo Wease Jr. were made available for the media on Saturday and here’s what they had to say.

Head coach Eli Drinkwitz

Missouri v Arkansas Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

On playing in the Cotton Bowl against a prestigious program: “I think it’s a great opportunity for us. Our players earned this opportunity this year with the way we performed and to have the national stage against a blueblood opponent is a great opportunity for our program and continue to build to the brand that we want to be and the brand that we want to become.”

On this year’s journey: “That’s why I embraced the old cowboy hat. Enjoy the journey, coming down to Texas home of the Cowboys. It’s been an awesome season. It’s been a tremendous year for us from loving each other, playing for each other, competing against each other. Our coaching staff and players are all working together, and we have had a heck of a lot of fun.”

On Ohio State opt-outs and injury updates: “That hasn’t been any part of our conversation or concern. We’re focused about our team and our opportunity here. We’re going to have a couple of players that just couldn’t quite get back from an injury standpoint. Ennis Rakestraw, Chad Bailey, and Ty’Ron Hopper will not participate in the game this week.”

“That’s part of it. We didn’t have any opt-outs. Our brotherhood is wanting to play this one final game this one opportunity together. We’re excited to do that but again, we’re not really focused on the opponent we’re focused on our team and what our mission and goal is this year.”

Comments on Drew Lock after his performance against the Philadelphia Eagles: “Drew did an excellent job of making the play when the opportunity presented itself. His cousin Tommy (Lock) plays for us, he’s in the quarterback room and I know we were all excited...I’m really proud of Drew and his sticktoitiveness and continuing to earn his place in the NFL.”

On Theo Wease’s work ethic: “Theo practices every rep like it’s the most important rep and that type of mentality rubbed off on the rest of the offense and the rest of our team. Every time we were doing one-on-ones Theo was getting reps vs KAD (Kris Abrams-Draine), vs Ennis and trying to get better and those guys didn’t want to go against anybody else.”

“Then you started to see, Luther (Burden III) knew at that point, okay, I got to practice at this level, Mookie (Cooper) practicing at that level, Brady (Cook) practicing at that level, and I think everybody just realized that we can raise our level of competitive spirit.”

Wide Receiver Theo Wease

South Carolina v Missouri Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

On being back in his home state: “It’s a blessing to be back in the home state to be able to perform in front of my family because Missouri is not that close to Texas, so they get a chance to actually come out. It’s going to be fun; we got a great matchup and we’re going to be prepared for it.”

On how he’s impacted Mizzou: “I believe that I was just another leader added to the locker room, a great brotherhood.”

“They brought me in, they showed me the ropes and we just stuck together, and I really give all the credit to the team. I am my own person of course; I am my own leader of course and I brought something different to the team, but it was the brotherhood that really made everything fall into place.”

On the opportunity to play at AT&T Stadium again: “It’s always a blessing playing in Jerry’s World. I grew up calling it Jerry’s World because we played some state championships there and what not.”

Words on Mookie Cooper: “His whole mindset is just how determined he is to just being great and making everyone else around him better it’s contagious. It feeds off on everybody and when I first got here Mookie was kind of the first person I linked up with, got close with and we sat out some goals for the receiver room. As much as I’ve been leading the room, Mookie’s been right there with me.”

On what he learned from his high school coach Terry Gambill: “He definitely emphasized discipline a lot in high school and I felt like that discipline helps with anything in life, so I feel like learning that from him it helped carry and help me all throughout where I am today.”