Longhorns close out season at Texas Bowl

HOUSTON (KXAN) — Texas and Missouri meet in the Texas Bowl Wednesday night. It’s the 23rd time in history the Longhorns and Tigers will play against each other and the second meeting in a bowl game. Missouri (7-5) finished the season on a six game winning streak scoring at least 45 points in all six of those wins. Junior quarterback Drew Lock leads the nation in passing touchdowns with 43.

Tom Herman said on Friday that sophomore Shane Buechele will start at quarterback for Texas. Buechele has thrown just nine passes in the last two games, but will get the nod in part because of Sam Ehlinger’s struggles down the stretch against Texas Tech when he threw two 4th quarter interception. Both quarterbacks are expected to play.

Texas will be shorthanded on both sides of the ball. Offensively, offensive tackle Connor Williams will skip the game after announcing that he is turning pro. Just before the team arrived in Houston Tom Herman announced that Wide Receiver Li’l Jordan Humphrey and running back Toeneil Carter were suspended from the game for violation of team rules.

On defense safety DeShon Elliott has opted to skip the game after announcing that he is also entering the NFL draft. Leading tackler Malik Jefferson is considered doubtful for the game after suffering a turf toe injury.

Texas is playing in their first bowl game since losing to Arkansas in the 2014 Texas Bowl. The Longhorns are looking for their first bowl win since beating Oregon State in the 2012 Alamo Bowl.

“It’s a big deal for me personally to get the experience to play in the post season,” said junior guard Patrick Vahe. “For the younger guys, to get this feeling and understand that all the work we’ve put in, this is where it’s going to get you, maybe better.”

For the seniors, this game is extra special. “I don’t have to say anything as an older guy,” said senior cornerback Antwaun Davis. “As an older guy, I don’t have to tell the younger guys, he’s looking at me and he’s doing it for me, I don’t have to tell him anything. That’s where I get chills thinking, because that’s how much respect these young guys have for the older guys.”

The Tigers’ final half of the season was impressive although the competition was suspect. Missouri didn’t beat a team with a winning record and the final six opponents averaged four wins for the season.

“They had a lot more momentum going into those few weeks of practice than we did obviously,” Herman said. “With winning 6 straight games and their quarterback finishing as the #1 touchdown passer in the country and their defensive front is about as we’ll play this year, play really hard.”

Here are some extra notes about the Texas Bowl match up:

Texas and Missouri last met in 2011 (Missouri won 17-5 in Columbia)

Texas is 17-6 all-time against Missouri

This is Texas’ ninth meeting vs an SEC team since 2002. The Longhorns are 4-4 in those contests

Texas is making its 54th bowl game appearance (2nd most in college football). The Longhorns are 27-24-3

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