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December 12, 2013
Homecoming for Texas Tigers
To a man, the Missouri Tigers had hopes of playing their bowl game in Pasadena, California. But once that possibility disappeared, there were a number of Tigers very happy to learn they would finish their season in Dallas, Texas.
"It's kind of a home game, (growing up) two hours outside of Dallas," said Shreveport, La. native L'Damian Washington. "Definitely my brothers will be able to come to the game.
"That is pretty cool," said quarterback James Franklin, a native of Corinth. "I know I'm going to have a lot of friends and family come and support me so I'm excited about that."
"It definitely is good to go back where you started from," said safety Matt White, a Keller, Tx., product. "A lot of people have supported me from that area. It's good for it to be a close drive for people to be able to go. It's going to basically be like a homecoming. It will be good to get back in front of all my family and friends."
The most difficult thing for the Tiger players from the area may be securing enough tickets.
"I have a lot of family members, right now the most difficult thing will be getting a whole lot of tickets," Washington said. "I haven't talked to (my brothers) yet. I'll definitely spread the good word that we're playing in Jerry's World. I'm most excited because we get to go to a Cowboys game."
The Tigers, overall, list 35 players from the state of Texas. None will be closer to home than Arlington native Russell Hansbrough, whose high school is just 7.44 miles from Cowboys Stadium. There are also three Tigers from Oklahoma (Randy Ponder, Xavier Smith and Levi Copelin) and two from Louisiana (Washington and Duron Singleton), who will get chances to play closer to home. Oklahoma State's roster lists 71 players who are Texas natives.
Missouri and Oklahoma State will kick off at 7 p.m. on January 3rd. The Tigers will hold their first Cotton Bowl practice on Monday.