OSU Faces Test In Missouri Offensive Line

Watching tape in the days leading up to the AT&T Cotton Bowl shows Missouri has talented quarterback James Franklin, running backs Henry Josey and Russell Hansbrough, and receivers Dorial Green-Beckham and L'Damian Washington. But the Tigers offensive line plays as big a part as the skill players with first-team All-SEC offensive tackle Justin Britt and second-team All-SEC center Evan Boehm.

"As an O-line we feel like at any moment the ball can go for a touchdown or Henry (Josey) can break a big run or any of our backs," Britt stated. "All we have to do is do our job the best we can and we know our playmakers can make any given play."

Boehm, who has started all 25 games since he arrived on campus a year ago, started 12 games at left guard as a true freshman and all 13 this season at center. He is rare in this day and age of freshmen offensive linemen red-shirting. He looks ahead and sees this game being a barometer for the next two years as he leads the offensive line at Mizzou.

"It is huge, especially when this game means 12 wins," Boehm boasted. "When with 12 wins you can tie the school record for most wins in the history of Missouri. That is huge.

"But at the same time, it is the seniors' last game and could be the last game for some of our non-seniors that we don't know about yet. So we are going out and playing football like we have been the last 15 weeks of this year.

"It is going to be a little bit more special after the game knowing that it is my last game with Max (Copeland) and my last game with Justin (Britt), and James (Franklin) and L'Damian (Washington). Just going out there and giving it all for them.

"I already told them, I looked them in the eyes and I said ‘Guys, this is your last game, let's go out and have fun. But at the same time I am going to give you my all, all that I can for every single play because I want this to be a special game.' You can tell it means something to them and that they are going to miss it. They are all focused and are ready to go."

Both Boehm and Britt also have watched tape and they know, like Missouri offensive coordinator and former OSU player and assistant coach Josh Henson, that this OSU defense is one of the better to come out of Stillwater.

"They have a lot of athleticism. They are quick," Boehm said. "They get to the ball and they have a never-quit attitude of getting to the ball. Their secondary is a great secondary. It is going to be a fun matchup on the edges.

"I feel like the game will be won inside with the offensive lines of Oklahoma State and Missouri and the defensive lines of Missouri and Oklahoma State. If you want to watch the game it is going to be right there, because you have two athletic offensive and defensive lines going against each other. That is where it starts and that is where the game is going to be won and lost."

"They are a high-motor team. They don't stop until the whistle blows," Britt observed. "They are similar to our defense in a way. They rotate a lot of guys. They stay fresh. There is a reason why they are also here at the Cotton Bowl with a good record. They do what is right and they are well coached."

As are the Tigers offensive linemen.

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