Ohio State’s Ryan Day, Missouri’s Eli Drinkwitz Expect Teams To Be At Full Strength For Cotton Bowl

Even though Ohio State didn’t make it into the College Football Playoff this season, head coach Ryan Day believes it will be at full strength going into the Cotton Bowl.

He also said they will be working the younger guys in practice so they can get ready to make an impact in the bowl game if needed since the experience would be valuable for them going into next season.

“Expecting everybody to play,” Day said. “We’ve had to play depth this year. That’s a great opportunity for guys to step up. That’s what this bowl practice is going to be about is trying to get young guys a bunch of reps. They’re going to utilize every rep that we possibly give them. But I think our guys will be ready to roll here.”

With many players that are projected to go in the NFL Draft should they decide to leave Ohio State there’s a possibility some could opt out of the game since the Buckeyes aren’t playing for the national championship.

That could change the closer the day gets since the players have almost a month to make their decisions.

Missouri head coach Eli Drinkwitz also his team would be at full strength other than a couple of injuries that could keep some players out when the game comes, but said he is fine with whatever his players want to do for the game on Friday, Dec. 29.

“Our team plans to play and I plan on having our team at full strength,” he said. “We have a couple of injuries that could prevent certain players from playing. But in visiting with the seniors prior to the announcement of this game, it was our plan as a senior group to finish one more game together.

“Each individual student athlete has to do what’s in their own best interest. We all recognize that this game, these players have a business side to it too. As coaches we respect that. I know as players they respect it.”

Drinkwitz also said their game plan won’t change regardless of whether the Buckeyes come at them with their full roster or not.

“As far as our preparation, we’re preparing to play a very good opponent. The thing about playing a team like Ohio State is if they have a player opt out, there’s multiple players behind them that are very talented, that are ready to step up. I don’t necessarily think you can worry so much about who’s playing. You’ve got to worry and prepare for the scheme.”