MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Taylor Cornelius tied a Liberty Bowl record with four touchdown passes and Kolby Peel made a critical fourth-down stop with 1:01 left as Oklahoma State edged No. 24 Missouri 38-33 in the Liberty Bowl on Monday.
Missouri (8-5) faced fourth-and-1 when quarterback Drew Lock attempted a keeper around the right end. Peel made an ankle tackle that stopped Lock short of the first-down marker.
That allowed Oklahoma State (7-6) to hang on to win a game it had led 35-19 heading into the fourth quarter. The Cowboys snapped Missouri’s four-game winning streak.
Cornelius, a fifth-year senior and former walk-on, went 26 of 44 with four touchdown passes and two interceptions by Cam Hilton that sparked Missouri’s comeback try. Both interceptions led to Missouri touchdowns.
Missouri’s Larry Rountree III ran for 204 yards, including a 55-yard touchdown. Missouri’s Johnathon Johnson had nine catches for 185 yards, including an 86-yard score. Lock was 23 of 38 for 373 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions.
Chuba Hubbard rushed for 145 yards and a touchdown for Oklahoma State. Tyron Johnson had seven catches for 141 yards and two touchdowns.
Missouri wasted two chances to take the lead in the fourth quarter. Oklahoma State was clinging to a 35-33 lead when Mike Scott blocked Tucker McCann’s 42-yard field goal attempt with 9:22 left.
The blocked field goal came after a foiled fake-punt attempt by Oklahoma State gave Missouri the ball at the Cowboys’ 32-yard line.
Missouri: This marks the second straight year that Missouri has lost a bowl game after surging late in the regular season. Last year, Missouri won its final six regular-season games but followed that up with a 33-16 loss Texas Bowl loss to Texas.
Oklahoma State: The Cowboys entered the game ranked 99th in total defense and tied for 96th in scoring defense. That beleaguered unit struggled much of the game but came up big when it mattered most.
The Cowboys won while playing at far less than full strength. Oklahoma State’s offense was missing leading rusher Justice Hill and guard Larry Williams, who sat out the bowl game to prepare for the NFL draft. Its defense was short-handed after losing cornerbacks Rodarius Williams and Kemah Siverand to targeting penalties — Williams in the first quarter and Siverand early in the fourth period — and safety Malcolm Rodriguez to a second-quarter injury.
Missouri should have an experienced quarterback to take over for Lock, the Tigers’ starting quarterback the last four seasons. Lock’s likely replacement is Clemson graduate transfer Kelly Bryant. The Tigers open the 2019 season Aug. 31 at Wyoming.
Oklahoma State also will break in a new starting quarterback following the departure of Cornelius. The Cowboys also must replace leading tackler Justin Phillips and have major graduation losses on the defensive line. Oklahoma State begins the 2019 season Aug. 30 at Oregon State.