Cotton Bowl Predictions

Alabama v Mississippi

Cotton Bowl
Oklahoma State Cowboys vs. Ole Miss Rebels
January 2, 2010, 1pm Central
Arlington, Texas
Network: Fox

This should be one of the better games of the bowl season. Both teams are balanced and evenly matched. I only hope Fox and Time Warner let me see it. At the moment, they’ve agreed to a temporary extension, but it’s not clear how long that will last.

Both Ole Miss and Oklahoma State had high expectations that were unrealized this season. OSU looked BCS bound until Oklahoma blew them off the field in their season finale. And Ole Miss fell to Mississippi State to close their season.

Ole Miss quarterback (and former Longhorn) Jevan Snead has looked amazing at times, but horrible at other times. Runningback Dexter McCluster is a playmaker, but disappeared completely against Mississippi State.

If McCluster can get the running game going, it’ll open the mid range pass for Snead, and he could have a good day. Otherwise, OSU’s impressive defense could make things ugly.

On OSU’s offensive side of the ball, Zac Robinson should be fully healed from an ankle injury that slowed him in the season finale. Unfortunately, the absence of Dez Bryant leaves the team a bit short on playmakers. Tailback Keith Toston is solid, but someone from the receiving corp desperately needs to step up.

Mississippi’s defense is stout. They tend to shut down the pass, and mop up the run. Robinson needs to have a great game to open things up. But ultimately, it will come down to how the OSU offensive line performs against the Ole Miss defensive line. The game will be won in the trenches.

Snead has looked good in bowl games, and I expect him to lead the Rebels to victory on Saturday, 24-17.

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