Cowboys

Cowboys Outduel Aggies in the 2023 Texas Bowl

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The #20 ranked Oklahoma State Cowboys (9-4) defeated the Texas A&M Aggies (7-5) 31 – 23 Wednesday night in the 2023 TaxAct Texas Bowl at NRG Stadium in Houston. These two teams have matched up every season from 1996-2011 as members of the Big 12 conference until Texas A&M moved to the SEC in 2012. This season’s matchup was similar to the 2019 Texas Bowl, when Texas A&M (7-5) defeated Oklahoma State (8-4) 24-21. However, things did not go so well this game for Texas A&M. On the first play from scrimmage, starting QB Jaylen Henderson, rolling out for a pass, injured his right arm and was out of the game and done for the rest of the night. Freshman Marcel Reed entered the game and completed one pass before the Aggies were forced to punt. As the game went on, Reed would show what the future might look like with him behind center.

The Oklahoma State Cowboys utilized their no-huddle–shotgun offense and went to work with a combination of run and pass plays that culminated in a 4 minute 42 second, 10-play,85-yd drive that set them up for a 19 yd field goal by Kicker Alex Hale that put them up 3-0 at the 8:38 mark of the 1st quarter. The Aggies responded with an 11-play, 56-yard drive that set up a 37 field goal from kicker Randy Bond tying the score at 3-3 with 4:34 left of the clock. OSU QB Alan Bowman and the OSU no-huddle-shotgun formation immediately went back to work putting together a 10-play, 65-yard drive that took 4 min 13 seconds. That ended in a 13-yard TD pass from QB Bowman to WR Rashod Owens for a touchdown.  The PAT was good. and it was OSU 10 – A&M 3 with 21 seconds remaining in the 1st qtr. On the drive, RB Ollie Gordon would run the ball six times for 29 yards including converting a third and four to keep the drive alive.

At the 11:31 mark of the 2nd quarter, The Aggies marched down the field and scored on a 7-play 67-yard drive ending in a 24-yard field goal by cutting into the OSU lead. OSU 10 – A&M 6. OSU responded at the 9:09 mark scoring on a 10-yard TD quarterback keeper by backup QB Gunnar Gundy. This culminated a six-play, 75-yard drive highlighted by a complete pass of 26 yards to Brennan Presley on third and eight, and 34 yards to Rashod Owens from Presley setting up Gundy’s touchdown from the 10. OSU 17 – A&M 6.

With 3:12 remaining in the half, OSU put together a 13-play 83-yard drive that used up 2:37 of the game clock scoring on a TD run by RB Ollie Gordon with 35 seconds left in the half to make it OSU 24 – A&M 6 at halftime. At this point is was all Oklahoma St. The short-handed Aggies could not get in sync on offense and their defense was not fairing much better.

The third quarter began with OSU  receiving the kick. They would face a third and three from their own 42 when Bowman threw a pick that would set up the Aggies. Texas A&M would take advantage and at the 13:07 mark of the 3rd quarter, the A&M offense put together a 6-play, 60-yard drive that set up a two-yard TD run by RB Amari Daniels. That would bring the Aggies a little closer and make it OSU 24 – A&M 13. With 9:36 remaining in the quarter, the OSU offense marched 80 yards in six plays that ended in an 18-yard TD pass from QB Bowman to WR Rashod Owens. Pat Good. OSU 31 – A&M 13.

Texas A&M was not going down without a fight. They would take the ensuing kickoff and with 7:07 on the clock, the Aggies put together a 6-play 75-yard drive that ended with Reed running for 20 20-yard TD. PAT good OSU 31 – A&M 20. After the Cowboys were forced to punt, the Aggies would get the ball on their own 25. By the end of the third, they had the ball on their own 48 looking to score a touchdown that would put them within striking distance. Unfortunately, the drive would end when Reed hit Amari Daniels for 34 yards. He fumbled the ball and it was recovered by Xavier Benson. But the Aggies would get another gift when Bowman was picked off by Sam Matthews giving A&M another shot to make it 31-27 with a touchdown. But once again, they would blow their chance going three-and-out.

The A&M defense held OSU to no points while managing to engineer a seven-play 47-yard drive with 5:07 left on the clock which set up Aggie Kicker Randy Bond for a 51 yd field goal that hit the front crossbar and bounced over to 3pts. Final score: OSU 31 – A&M 23.

 

Game Stats

  • OSU would go 8-16 on third down as opposed to A&M going 4-11
  • The OSU defense held the Aggies to 73 yards rushing
  • A&M QB Mrcel Reed would go 20-33 for 361 yards, no touchdown passes, and one pick.
  • Cowboys QB, Alex Bowman would go 34-49 for 402 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions
  • Cowboys RB Ollie Gordon went for 118 yards on 27 carries with a touchdown
  • On the receiving end, OSU had two players with over 100 yards in Rahsod Ownes (164 on 10 catches) and Brennan Presley (152 yards on 16 catches)
  • Aggies WR Jahdae Walker would get 137 yards on eight catches.
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