Texas A&M Football

ESPN's Roy Philpott dives into his preparation for the 2023 Texas Bowl

December 27, 2023
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ESPN play-by-play broadcaster Roy Philpott will be on the call for the 2023 TaxAct Texas Bowl as Texas A&M and No. 20 Oklahoma State face off in Houston on Wednesday night. Philpott detailed the key matchups to watch and his thoughts on how A&M's staff has prepared.



Key notes from Roy Philpott interview

  • It is hard to know what to expect. We sense what could happen, but tonight is not one of those nights. It is totally different than what it used to be. You don't know who is ready to go. You don't know whose mind is truly in it.
     
  • This Texas A&M staff has done a remarkable job behind the scenes of staying in the present. If you are an Elijah Robinson and you are off to Syracuse and recruiting for the Orange during the downtime, you are being tugged in all different directions. He reiterated to us this week that he wanted to be there. He recruited a lot of these guys. His mind has been there, and he has done everything in his power to get the guys ready for the game.
     
  • James Coley same thing. D.J. Durkin same thing. They all said it's a surreal moment in their coaching careers because they will be off to other places but have done their very best to have these players in the focus. The staff has done a really good job of getting what they have ready to go.
     
  • Jaylen Henderson has overachieved. This is start No. 4. He has a live arm. That was a thought process from Bobby Petrino. I think he is a known commodity. They will have to push it a little. It comes down to Henderson. The accuracy, and let's see if his receivers can consistently get open. Let's see what Henderson can do tonight.
     
  • When we were assigned this game, the first thought was Ollie Gordon II against A&M's run defense, but you realize Walter Nolen, Fadil Diggs, McKinnley Jackson and LT Overton won't be playing. Still, there is talent there.
     
  • I want to see what Taurean York can do. I don't know if I have heard a staff glow about a freshman linebacker like what I have heard this week. The film does not lie. He does not look like a first-year player. Gordon breaks off huge runs by wearing defenses down. A&M will be charged with slowing him down.
     
  • Mike Elko will join us in the booth in the second quarter. I am curious to get his take on the hand he has been dealt. The guys want to win. How does A&M handle adversity? You hear them talk about brotherhood. That's meaningful.
     
  • We are all excited about a 12-team College Football Playoff. There have been a handful of teams knocking on the door to get in. For the teams that didn't make the playoff, if you look at the bowl schedule, what do some of these games feel like? I don't think it's great. It starts to become the NIT. I think it will feel vastly different in the future.
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ESPN's Roy Philpott dives into his preparation for the 2023 Texas Bowl

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