What a season and what a day it was for Missouri football. After being picked to finish next to Vanderbilt in preseason SEC projections, Missouri instead powered to an 11-2 record with a win over Big Ten powerhouse Ohio State.
I, RMN’s staff photographer, ventured to Arlington, Texas, to cover this matchup, along with my fellow journalists from a litany of Missouri outlets. I met a lot of Ohio State fans, too! They were quite nice, and unlike what the Wall Street Journal would have you believe, they do not “think the world is their bathroom.”
The game was pretty boring from a photography standpoint (and also a fan standpoint) for the first three quarters of the game, but it picked up at the end. As a result, most of the photos are of the celebration. As Rock M Nation’s staff photographer, here is the special Cotton Bowl Edition Tobias Ten.
- The Schredder
This was an interesting shot for me. Since there are a million photogs on the field for big games (whoa, we play in big games!!!!) the only open spot was right behind the field goal post when Cody Schrader punched himself in for six. This ended up working well, as the post now frames Schrader and we see him with the Cotton Bowl logo.
2. Drink and Cook
Whenever there’s a big-time game such as this with a trophy and other hoopla, there’s always confetti. Here, the confetti frames Eli Drinkwitz and Brady Cook’s faces. Soon after this game, Cook was named the game’s offensive MVP and Drinkwitz was extended until 2024. Not bad for the two! And, in case it wasn’t obvious, Cook, the truest of sons, is to return next year.
3. The One Fans Deserve
As the confetti lofted down onto the victors, I turned my eye up to the stands to see our home fans. It’s a mix of bewilderment and unadulterated happiness. Take a look, if you’re a Mizzou fan/student you might see a friend!!
4. Gold Label
Here, Johnny Walker Jr. poses with his Defensive MVP trophy, with Darius Robinson accentuating him. Walker finished with two tackles and a sack. Robinson, above, finished his Mizzou career at the bowl. Last game, against Florida, Robinson showed his support for the university by wearing “MIZZOU” as his name on the back of his jersey.
5. Evil Empire
This pregame photo shows fans against a giant video board bearing Ohio State’s logo. To me, it shows how Mizzou was always the David to Ohio State’s Goliath. Eli Drinkwitz even said as much on SportsCenter with Scott Van Pelt: that he carried around a slingshot during the game to drive the message home.
6. The Man of the Hour
Brady Cook was the man who everyone wanted to talk to after the big win. Cameras can be seen from KCTV and KSHB of Kansas City and a bunch of team, press, and other photogs. Wonder what the angle was like from their cameras? Well, in this shot, you can see yours truly snapping the pic.
7. A Whole New (Jerry) World
What to do when one is at the stadium hours before kickoff and bored? Look for fun and interesting shots. In this one, AT&T Stadium (Jerry World) is reflected in the glass of an ESPN camera.
This crowd shot I took right after Ohio State’s doinked field goal that kept the game 3-0. There are a ton of great crowd reactions. Of course, the focus is the Mizzou fan in the middle of the frame who is celebrating, but there are some other great ones: the Ohio State fan in the bottom right who is doing a classic “Surrender Cobra,” Best of all is the State fan in the bottom left, recording on his phone, blissfully unaware that the kick has indeed not scored. I hope somebody told him.
Here Mizzou D-lineman Kristian Williams feels the ecstasy of victory, doing snow angels in the confetti. He had five total tackles that night and 25 on the season. A second-year Mizzou player after three years at Oregon, Williams ought to be happy he transferred; had he stuck around at Oregon he would have been relegated to beating up on sorry Liberty today.
10. Mirror Image
Every bowl and rivalry game must have a trophy. Some are silly, like the Nebraska-Minnesota Five Dollar Bits of Broken Chair Trophy. Some are edible, like the Pop-Tarts Bowl trophy. But for a Very Serious bowl like the Cotton Bowl, it was all corporate. Here, Mizzou players and associated media are seen in the reflection.