Ohio State’s quarterback, Devin Brown, who dons No. 33 in tribute to legendary Hall of Fame quarterback Sammy Baugh, is set to mark a significant milestone. He’ll become the first Buckeyes quarterback to make his debut start in a bowl game, specifically the Cotton Bowl against Missouri.

Brown, a 20-year-old sophomore, steps in following Kyle McCord’s departure to Syracuse earlier in the month. Despite not having played since October, Brown embraces the opportunity with enthusiasm. Teammates laud his vibrant personality and commend his potential as a player.

The seventh-ranked Buckeyes, fresh from a 30-24 loss to Michigan, are determined to bounce back. They missed their chance at the Big Ten title and College Football Playoff contention. McCord’s exit, who had won the starting job over Brown in preseason, prompted this change.

Missouri, led by coach Eliah Drinkwitz, exhibits strength with players like All-American running back Cody Schrader and quarterback Brady Cook. Their improved camaraderie and trust have been crucial for the team’s performance this season.

Brown’s choice of wearing No. 33, reminiscent of Baugh’s iconic number during his NFL career with Washington, stems from childhood stories shared by his father. Despite limited playing time so far, Brown’s poised to establish his mark and set the tone for Ohio State heading into the next season.

Coach Ryan Day views this game as an opportunity for Brown to gain confidence and build momentum for the team’s future. However, uncertainties persist about players like Marvin Harrison Jr., a standout wide receiver, and their involvement in the game. Day refrains from confirming their participation, leaving those decisions to the players and their families.

Both teams showcase formidable defenses. Missouri boasts an effective defense with 35 sacks and a notable plus-9 turnover margin. Ohio State, known for its robust defense, ranks third nationally in total yards allowed and tops in passing defense, conceding only 147 yards per game and 11 points on average.

The Cotton Bowl, held at AT&T Stadium, marks a significant venue where Ohio State clinched a national championship in 2014 during the inaugural College Football Playoff era. The Buckeyes have a favorable history in the Cotton Bowl, having won it twice before, while Missouri has also enjoyed success in the competition, winning two out of three appearances.

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