Both schools finished well above the expectations of their league media, the Congrove Computer Rankings Preseason Projections, and most everyone else. Both schools also turned in two separate halves of a season.
Early on, Oregon State was blown out 42-14 at Boise State. More telling was a 41-13 loss at home to California. After a 13-6 home loss to Washington State the following week, the Beavers were just 2-3.
That's when Oregon State went on a tear and finished the season with seven wins in their last eight games. Along the way, the Beavers snapped USC's 38-game regular season winning streak and 27-game conference winning streak. Oregon State also beat rival Oregon and then halted Hawaii's 9-game winning streak. The only loss in those last eight games came at UCLA.
Missouri went in the other direction. The Tigers began the season 6-0 but won just two of their last six games. Of course, the back half of the schedule included Oklahoma, Nebraska and Texas A&M, but the loss to Iowa State was inexplicable. The wins came against Kansas State and Kansas.
Oregon State QB Matt Moore completed 61.1 percent of his passes for 2,666 yards with 14 TD's and 6 INT's. Yvenson Bernard led the ground attack with 1,210 yards. The teams' second-leading rusher had 210 fewer carries.
Missouri was third in total offense in the Big 12, led by quarterback Chase Daniel who completed 64.1 percent of his passes for 3,197 yards with 26 TD's and 10 INTS's. Daniel was also Missouri's second-leading rusher with 393 yards. Tony Temple picked up 869 yards on the ground and four different receivers had over 400 receiving yards.
This is only Missouri's fifth bowl game in the last 23 years and their first appearance in the Sun Bowl since 1973.
Oregon State is in a bowl game for the sixth time since 1999.