All-SEC quarterback Drew Lock leads the Missouri Tigers into their matchup against Texas in the Texas Bowl on Wednesday night in Houston. (File) 

By Spencer Gleason

The Missouri Tigers will rev their season back up on Wednesday night for the Texas Bowl matchup against the Texas Longhorns in Houston.

The rivalry between the Tigers and Longhorns dates back to the late 1800s but this will be the first game between the schools since Mizzou jumped to the SEC in 2012.

Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. and the game will be televised by ESPN.

Despite the nearly four-and-a-half week break since Missouri ended its regular season, coach Barry Odom told the Mizzou Network that his Tigers are hungry to get back on the field and continue their historic season.

“They’re on a mission to get win number eight,” he said. “They want to do something that not many people have done in the history of college football – starting 1-5 and finish 8-5.”

Missouri (7-5) ended the regular season with six consecutive wins, becoming the 10th team in FBS history to start a season 1-5 and finish with seven wins.

None of the final six teams the Tigers played – Idaho, UConn, Florida, Tennessee, Vanderbilt and Arkansas – finished their respective seasons with a winning record. At 6-6, the Longhorns have the best record the Tigers have faced since they lost 53-28 against Georgia (12-1).

One big change for Missouri will be the absence of offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Josh Heupel, who resigned after the regular season to become the head coach at Central Florida.

Junior Drew Lock comes into the bowl game after earning all-SEC honors as the top quarterback in the league. He set both Missouri and SEC single-season records with 43 touchdown passes and also led the SEC with 3,695 passing yards and a 169.4 passer rating.

The high-octane Tigers scored 45 points or more in each of their victories during the six-game winning streak. It was just the fourth time in school history Missouri had scored 45 or more points in six consecutive games.

On the opposing sideline, the Longhorns have scored 29.2 points per game this season. However, they will be without sophomore receiver Lil'Jordan Humphrey, freshman running back Toneil Carter and junior tight end Garrett Gray, all of whom were suspended for the bowl game for violating team rules.

Humphrey appeared in all 12 games this season and was the team’s second-leading receiver with 37 catches for 431 yards and a touchdown, averaging 11.7 yards per catch. Carter was Texas’ fourth-leading rusher with 263 yards, averaging 4.3v yards per carry and had three touchdowns. Gray had four catches for 18 yards.

In addition, Texas’ offensive tackle Connor Williams, safety DeShon Elliott and cornerback Holton Hill have already declared early entry in the 2018 NFL draft and will not be able to participate in the Texas Bowl. Elliott led the Longhorns with six interceptions and had two touchdowns. Hill also had two interceptions and two touchdowns.

In his first year at Texas, head coach Tom Herman leaned on his defense to carry the weight. The Longhorns have allowed 21.6 points per game and held opposing rushers to 105.7 yards per game.

Herman is 1-1 in bowl games. He led the Houston Cougars to a Peach Bowl victory in 2015, but his team lost the Las Vegas Bowl last season. This will be Odom’s first bowl game as a head coach.

The Texas Bowl will also be Odom’s first game on the sidelines since receiving a two-year contract extension following their improbable comeback year. The extension will keep Odom at the helm through the 2022-23 season. Co-defensive coordinator Ryan Walters was also promoted and given the reigns to the defense. He spent the regular season coaching the Tigers’ secondary.

Texas leads the overall series against Missouri with 17 wins. The Tigers have only beaten the Longhorns six times, including their last meeting in 2011 when Missouri won 17-5.

Prior to their 2011 victory, the Tigers’ last win against Texas came in 1997, when Odom played for Missouri, under then head coach Larry Smith. The Tigers have not won back-to-back contests against the Longhorns since 1894 and 1896.