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COTTON BOWL
Cotton Bowl History
Ole Miss Mississippi (8-4)
Schedule/Results / Bowl History
Oklahoma State Oklahoma State (9-3)
Schedule/Results / Bowl History
Location: Arlington, TX
Date: Friday, January 2
Time: 2:00 pm EST
TV: Fox

Game Preview

Courtesy of the SEC

THE COACHES

Houston Nutt is in his second season at Ole Miss with a record of 17-8 (.680) and 17th overall with a record of 128-78 (.621). The Rebels’ offensive coordinator is Kent Austin and the defensive coordinator is Tyrone Nix.

Mike Gundy is in his fifth season at OSU and overall with a record of 36-26 (.581). The Cowboys’ offensive coordinators are Gunter Brewer and Joe Wickline and the defensive coordinator is Bill Young.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN OLE MISS HAS THE BALL

Senior Dexter McCluster is bidding to become first player in SEC history with 1,000 rushing yards and 500 receiving yards in same season. He needs 15 more rushing yards and 25 more receiving yards in the bowl game. McCluster is averaging 219.6 all-purpose yards and 164.2 rushing yards with eight TD's responsible for (four rushing, two receiving, one passing) over the last five SEC games. He has posted at least 145 all-purpose yards in each outing.

With his 96 receiving yards at Mississippi State, Shay Hodge established the Ole Miss single-season record for receiving yards and became the first 1,000-yard receiver in school history with 1,023. Hodge is currently the SEC leader in receiving yards (85.2 ypg) and receptions (5.3 rpg).

Oklahoma State's Perrish Cox leads the nation with 1.73 passes defended per game. The Waco, Texas native routinely matched up against the top receiver from the opposing team as a senior in 2009, holding Biletnikoff Award finalist Jordan Shipley from Texas and first-team All-SEC honoree A.J. Green from Georgia well below their respective season averages.

Donald Booker leads OSU with 86 tackles, including eight TFL's and five sacks. Patrick Levine adds 70 tackles, 6.5 TFL's, 2.5 sacks and five interceptions. Andre Sexton brings 62 tackles and four TFL's on D.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN OKLAHOMA STATE HAS THE BALL

Ole Miss senior S Kendrick Lewis leads the team in tackles (80) and blocked kicks (2) and is tied for the team lead in pass break-ups (9) and forced fumbles (2). Lewis has notched nine or more stops in three of the last four games, including his first two career double-digit tackle performances. He also notched a pair of field goal blocks in that span.

The Rebels' Kentrell Lockett boasts a team-high 11 QB pressures and is second on the team in TFL's with 10.0 and sacks with 5.0. Lockett posted at least a half TFL in 10 of 12 games this year.

In his first year as a starter, junior NT Jerrell Powe is tied for team lead and 10th in the SEC in TFL's (11.0).

With 5.0 TFL's in the last two games, senior LB Patrick Trahan is tied for team lead and 10th in the SEC in TFL's with 11.

OSU boasts the Big 12’s top rushing attack at 191.75 ypg. Senior RB Keith Toston has totaled 1,177 yards and 11 TD's on the ground.

Led by CFP and FWAA All-American LT Russell Okung, the State offensive line has surrendered just 10 sacks, which tops the conference and is sixth in the NCAA. Okung leads all Oklahoma State players with 46 consecutive starts entering the Cowboys' Cotton Bowl date with Ole Miss. Through 12 games this season, he has 127 knockdown blocks and 58 domination blocks.

Also earning Big 12 honors were first team fullback Bryant Ward and QB Zac Robinson, who received honorable mention.

SPECIAL TEAMS

It took freshman Jesse Grandy just a month to carve his name in the Ole Miss record book. In only his fourth game handling returns, Grandy notched his second kickoff return for a TD with an 82-yarder against Auburn. He is only the third Rebel to return two kickoffs for TD's in the same season and the first since John Avery in 1996. The other is Vernon Studdard in 1970. Grandy’s current 25.7-yard average would be the second-highest ever by a Rebel with at least 20 returns. Grandy returned the opening kickoff of the UAB game 88 yards for a touchdown.

The Big 12 career leader in kick return yards, Perrish Cox owns the Oklahoma State career record for kickoff returns for touchdowns. Cox also gets over 10 yards per punt return, including a touchdown for 67 yards earlier this season.

Punter Quinn Sharp averaged 44.4 yards per punt, including 20 kicks placed inside the 20 yard line and 11 fair catches. Sharp also has 34 touchbacks on kickoffs.

SERIES/GAME NOTES

Record: UM, 1-0 • Last: Ole Miss, 31-28 (January 1, 2004 at Cotton Bowl)

The only previous all-time meeting between Ole Miss and Oklahoma State occurred in this game at the end of the 2003 season in which the Rebels prevailed 31-28.

Ole Miss' last three bowl trips have been to the Cotton Bowl... This will be Ole Miss’ fifth Cotton Bowl appearance overall where it has posted a 3-1 record... Ole Miss has won 3 straight bowl games and 7 of its last 8.

Oklahoma State is 1-1 in its two previous Cotton Bowl appearances with the lone win coming in its first-ever bowl game at the end of the 1944 season when it blanked TCU 34-0... The Cowboys have an overall bowl record of 12-7 and are 3-3 this decade.