July 12, 2024

Ohio State quarterback Devin Brown, donning the No. 33 jersey in homage to Pro Football Hall of Famer Sammy Baugh, who shared MVP honors in the inaugural Cotton Bowl 87 years ago, is set to make history as the first Buckeyes quarterback to start his career in a bowl game. Brown steps into this role in the Cotton Bowl against ninth-ranked Missouri, following Kyle McCord’s departure to Syracuse earlier this month.

Despite not seeing game action since October 21, the 20-year-old sophomore expresses excitement about the experience and the compelling narrative behind it. Receiver Emeka Egbuka describes Brown as a lively and joyful presence, emphasizing both his personality and playing abilities.

The seventh-ranked Buckeyes, with an 11-1 record, enter the game after a 30-24 loss to Michigan in their regular-season finale, missing the chance to compete for the Big Ten title and a spot in the College Football Playoff. McCord, who won the starting position over Brown in a close preseason competition, left the team following that defeat.

Ohio State quarterback Devin Brown in action during the spring game on April 16, 2022.

Missouri, boasting a 10-2 record, comes into the Cotton Bowl with a three-game winning streak, led by All-American running back Cody Schrader, two-year starting quarterback Brady Cook, and playmaking receiver Luther Burden III. The Tigers, coached by Eliah Drinkwitz, have shown improvement from their previous 6-7 records, building a stronger team bond and trust.

Brown’s jersey choice, inspired by Baugh, connects back to the quarterback’s childhood stories told by his father. Despite initially wearing No. 15, Brown switched to No. 33 last spring in honor of Baugh’s impactful legacy.

While Brown has limited game experience, having appeared in seven games over two seasons with Ohio State, attempting only 22 passes, he now has a significant opportunity to set the tone for the team heading into 2024. Ohio State head coach Ryan Day acknowledges this chance for Brown to build confidence with his teammates as the team looks ahead to the next season.

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