T25-MIZZOU'S BIG 12 REUNION
No. 9 Mizzou, No. 13 Okla. St. in Big 12 reunion
IRVING, Texas (AP) — James Franklin and No. 9 Missouri get to have a Big 12 reunion in the Cotton Bowl.
Two years after Franklin threw three interceptions in a loss against Oklahoma State when the two teams were still Big 12 rivals, the quarterback plays his final college game against the No. 13 Cowboys on Friday night.
The Tigers left the Big 12 for the SEC a few months after their 45-24 home loss to Oklahoma State in 2011. They had their first losing season in eight years after switching and won only two conference games in 2012, but this season are SEC East champs.
SEC teams have won nine of the last 10 Cotton Bowls, all over Big 12 teams. The lone exception was Missouri six years ago over Arkansas.
Drake defeats Evansville 94-66
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Jordan Daniels scored 28 points with three assists as Drake defeated Evansville 94-66 on Wednesday night.
Richard Carter put up 19 points and grabbed four rebounds for the Bulldogs (10-3). Chris Caird had 10 points and Aaron Hawley came off the bench to score 12. Drake hit 61 percent from the field overall, 65.5 percent from the line and sank 65.5 percent from 3-point range.
A Daniels 3-pointer at 16:25 in the first capped a 12-2 Bulldog run to start the game.
Evansville's D.J. Balentine scored nine points in the final minute of the first period, including a 3-pointer at the buzzer, to cut the Aces' deficit to four points at the break.
The Bulldogs completely dominated the second period, leading by as many as 30 points with a minute left to play.
Balentine led the Aces (7-7) with 20 points.
Northern Iowa defeats Bradley 80-46
CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (AP) — Seth Tuttle scored a season-high 24 points and grabbed nine rebounds to lead Northern Iowa to an 80-46 victory over Bradley on Wednesday night.
Matt Bohannon had 16 points and three assists for the Panthers (7-6). Wes Washpun added 15 with eight assists and a pair of steals and Jeremy Morgan came off the bench to score 10.
Northern Iowa surged to a 14-0 advantage early in the first period and went on to lead 43-26 at the break. A pair of 3-pointers by Bohannon and two buckets from inside the paint by Tuttle to start the second half extended the Panther lead to 26. Northern Iowa would finish the game hitting 48 percent from the field and sinking 84.2 percent from the line.
Bradley averaged just 37 percent from the field overall and suffered 13 turnovers in the contest. Walt Lemon, Jr. led the Braves (5-9) with 17 points.
Colts know stopping Chiefs' Charles key to victory
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — On at least three occasions this season, an opposing coach was asked what it takes to stop Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles. Each time, they came back with the exact same response.
"If you've got the answer," Colts coach Chuck Pagano said, "I'm all ears."
That was before Kansas City played Indianapolis a couple of weeks ago at Arrowhead Stadium, and the Colts didn't need to do much to stop Charles in a 23-7 victory. The Chiefs only gave him six touches in the second half, something coach Andy Reid lamented following the game.
It stands to reason that Kansas City will at least make the Colts do the job themselves when the teams meet in a wild-card playoff game Saturday at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
Pagano calls Charles a "game wrecker" and a "home-run hitter."
Two years after a devastating knee injury threatened his career, and one year after he was the lone bright spot in a blighted season, Charles has put together one of the finest campaigns in the history of a franchise that has had plenty of notable offensive stars.
He's already run for 1,287 yards and 12 touchdowns, solid if unspectacular numbers unless you consider that he's done it while averaging 5 yards per carry. He also has a career-best 70 catches for 693 yards and seven more touchdowns, giving him nearly 2,000 yards from scrimmage.
Chiefs' Bowe cleared to play; Fisher hurts groin
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Chiefs wide receiver Dwayne Bowe has been cleared to play in Saturday's wild-card playoff game against Indianapolis after sustaining a concussion against the Colts two weeks ago.
Bowe was among several starters held out of last week's overtime loss at San Diego.
Kansas City could be without right tackle Eric Fisher, the No. 1 overall pick in last year's draft. He strained his groin near the end of Tuesday's practice and was not working Wednesday.
Outside linebacker Tamba Hali's status also remains up in the air. He's been dealing with some inflammation in his knee that has kept him out of practice the last couple of weeks, though he planned to try working out during Wednesday's practice.
Luck evolves into more complete QB in Year 2
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Andrew Luck learned the hard way last season.
Now he's putting all those difficult lessons to good use.
Luck and the Colts host Kansas City (11-5) on Saturday, with the former Stanford star poised to become the 10th NFL quarterback since 1950 to start a postseason game in each of his first two years.
And if Indy (11-5) beats the Chiefs for the second time in three weeks, Luck will have his first playoff win four seasons before Peyton Manning managed to accomplish the feat.
This is not the same Luck who lost at Baltimore in last year's wild-card round. He has evolved into a more efficient, more accurate passer in an offense that emphasizes the ground game and short-passing attack more than it did a year ago.
T25-COTTON BOWL-CHELF'S CHANCE
Chelf leads No. 13 Oklahoma St. into Cotton Bowl
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Clint Chelf remained confident that his senior year at Oklahoma State would not end with him standing on the sidelines, and he was right.
When the No. 13 Cowboys (10-2, 7-2 Big 12) take the field at AT&T Stadium Friday night in the Cotton Bowl, Chelf will be guiding the OSU offense against No. 9 Missouri (11-2, 7-1 Southeastern Conference).
Pulled from Oklahoma State's season opener in the first quarter, Chelf spent the next several weeks as the backup, watching sophomore J.W. Walsh thrive as the squad's primary quarterback.
Chelf worked hard in his backup role and it paid off when Walsh's inconsistency prompted OSU coach Mike Gundy to re-insert Chelf into the lineup midway through the Cowboys' 24-10 win over TCU on Oct. 19.