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Mizzou star running back Tony Temple addresses the media after his record-setting performance at the 2008 Cotton Bowl in Dallas (file photo courtesy of Ryan Koslen of Mizzou Athletics)

(AUDIO): Surreal is how former Mizzou star Tony Temple describes upcoming induction into Cotton Bowl Classic Hall of Fame

A former Mizzou star running back will travel to Arlington, Texas for Thursday’s enshrinement ceremonies for the Cotton Bowl Classic Hall of Fame.

Rockhurst product Tony Temple played for Mizzou from 2004-2007, and rushed for 281 yards and scored four touchdowns in the 2008 Cotton Bowl against Arkansas. The 37-year-old Temple tells 939 the Eagle that it’s surreal to him.

“It just feels like such an honor to just be in a position to highlight that amazing team, that 2007 team. And not to mention to be a part of a legendary Hall of Fame Coach Gary Pinkel, as he gets his opportunity to get his acknowledgment of how great he was,” Temple says.

Mizzou’s 2007 team was ranked first in the nation for one week and finished the season ranked fourth nationally. Temple and former Mizzou football coach Gary Pinkel will be inducted into the Cotton Bowl Classic Hall of Fame together. Former Ole Miss quarterback Eli Manning and four others will also be inducted.

Temple remembers the 2008 classic vividly, as Mizzou beat a solid 25th ranked Arkansas team 38-7.

“I remember this game being such a mentally strong game for our team. Not only were we feeling like we were one of the best teams in the nation, we wanted to be a BCS team just to show that. We didn’t lack anything that day, that Arkansas team went on to beat the national champions (LSU) that won that year,” says Temple.

Houston Nutt’s Razorbacks beat #1 LSU 50-48 in three overtimes on Thanksgiving Friday in 2007, in Death Valley.

What many fans forget is that Tony Temple had a tweaked hamstring that day. He says while he and his teammates always focused on the team first, they realized late in the game that the Cotton Bowl rushing record was within reach.

“They rallied behind me and you wouldn’t believe what they were doing trying to get me to those, it was 40 yards at that time to just get to that record. And I tell you I’ll never forget (wide receiver) Tommy Saunders (from Kearney) saying Tony, this is it and me looking at him and saying I have one play. And honestly the rest is history from there,” Temple says.

That run broke the Cotton Bowl Classic’s 54-year-old rushing record. Tomorrow’s other four inductees will include:

** former Florida State defensive back Terrell Buckley

** former Texas A&M quarterback Edd Hargett

** former Auburn linebacker Will Herring

** Past CBAA chairman Fred McClure

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