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Texas A&M Football

Post Game Review: No. 20 Oklahoma State 31, Texas A&M 23

December 28, 2023
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Chapter closed. 

Texas A&M dropped to 7-6 to complete the 2023 season as No. 20 Oklahoma State held on to win the 2023 TaxAct Texas Bowl at NRG Stadium, 31-23. 

With many curious to see if Jaylen Henderson could lead the shorthanded Aggies to victory, the highly-anticipated start for the quarterback took a turn for the worst. On the opening play, Henderson sent a dart to Jahdae Walker for a first down but fell awkwardly on his right arm and did not return. Marcel Reed stepped in as the Aggies could not find another first down.

Back-to-back big gains propelled the Cowboys’ offense downfield until A&M’s secondary drew two incompletions. A 30-yard pass placed Oklahoma State at A&M’s 10-yard line, but the Aggies stood firm in the red zone, holding the Cowboys to a field goal.

Amari Daniels earned A&M’s initial first down on the ground, and Reed found Walker for their second. The chains kept moving thanks to a 22-yard grab from Moose Muhammad. Looking to the end zone, Reed attempted to hit Walker, but the pass was broken up and left one of the three scholarship wideouts banged up. The Aggies capped off the drive with a 37-yard field goal by Randy Bond.

As the first quarter ticked away, the Cowboys consistently moved the ball 65 yards downfield with the Doak Walker Award-winning running back Ollie Gordon II leading the charge. Quarterback Alan Bowman lobbed a pass up to the back of the endzone for Rashod Owens to score six.

Jaden Platt caught his second reception of the season for a big gain of 39 yards before 15 more were gifted by a pass interference call. A negative rush set the Aggies behind the sticks, and Max Wright’s 8-yard catch could not convert, sending out the field goal squad to make it a 10-6 ballgame.

What was almost a quick three-and-out for A&M’s defense was soon spoiled by a 26-yard pass to move the chains for the Cowboys.

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Also rushing for one touchdown, freshman Marcel Reed completed 20-of-33 passes for 361 yards in the air.

Two plays later, A&M’s secondary gave up its fourth 15-plus-yard passing play, and Gunnar Gundy scampered into the end zone for the score. Muhammad ignited the fireworks with a spectacular one-handed grab for a gain of 29. Though, the sparks that drive would stop there. After Oklahoma State’s offensive march stalled out, the Aggies’ first three-and-out of the game gave the ball right back. 

Oklahoma State crossed midfield with a trio of completions setting up a big fourth down, which they converted. Shortly after, Gordon powered his way in for a 1-yard rushing touchdown to make it 24-6 at the half.

Back on offense, Oklahoma State got off to a promising start before A&M’s Dalton Brooks hauled in his first interception of his career. Reed found an open Wright for a gain of 40, setting up a rushing touchdown for Daniels two yards out. 

OSU responded efficiently with plays for 15, 15 and 32 to start off their drive. To follow, the march was capped off with another touchdown pass to Owens to extend Mike Gundy’s lead of Elijah Robinson's squad.

Needing to punch right back, Texas A&M did so. Back-to-back completions from Walker helped Texas A&M gain momentum and yardage before Owens fought for another first down. Reed delivered the Aggies a response with a 20-yard rushing touchdown, 31-20.

On the defensive end, Texas A&M stepped up to provide a quick three-and-out and gave the ball back to Reed & Co. Micah Tease’s first reception of the day — and career — ended the third quarter but continued the Aggies' rally effort. A short pass to Daniels turned into what looked like a positive chunk of yardage until the ball was fumbled and recovered on the 1-yard line. 

Yet, Oklahoma State could not make it out of their own territory before 12th Man Sam Mathews caught his first career interception. The Aggies then failed to capitalize on the following possession. 

A 25-yard rush from Gordon was all the Cowboys could muster up offensively, punting and planting the Aggies at the own 20. A pair of passes set up first down, and a 34-yard catch for Walker placed A&M in good field position before Reed took a sack. Yet, Bond knocked a 51-yard field goal through the uprights to make it a one-score game.

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Struggling to contain Ollie Gordon II, the Aggies allowed 134 rushing yards.

The Cowboys slowly trickled into A&M territory, running the ball and letting the clock wind down before attempting to a field goal. Thanks to the miss, A&M was given the ball with 17 seconds left and 30 yards to go, but Reed threw an interception to end the game and season.

RUMBLED: Oklahoma State posted 436 yards through the air on Wednesday night, the most allowed by the Aggies all season. The Cowboys also recorded 11 passing plays over 15+ yards partnered with eye-popping catches all night long. With Ollie Gordon II fueling the rushing attack, Gundy’s offense totaled nearly 600 yards.

STUMBLED: Texas A&M saw the same struggles they have all season long. Except this time with a depleted secondary. The Aggies failed to contain OSU wide receivers Brennan Presley and Rashod Owens, who combined for 26 catches, 316 yards and two touchdowns.

TURNING POINT: The tide was turning after Texas A&M scored back-to-back touchdowns to begin the second half and chip away at the deficit. Attempting to make it three consecutive scores, A&M was successfully driving until Amari Daniels fumbled on the 6-yard line.

UNSUNG HERO: Sam Mathews. A player who has embodied the spirit of the 12th Man all season, but perhaps a little extra on Wednesday. Texas A&M was without 31 players, leaving the backfield thin and in need of someone to step up and fill in. It was a familiar story with a familiar jersey number ready to go as Mathews caught his first career interception during the Aggies’ comeback pursuit. He also delivered 14 tackles, 11 solo, 1.5 tackles-for-loss and a pass breakup.

KEY STAT: The loss ends a streak of three-straight bowl game victories for the Aggies (2018 Gator, 2019 Texas, 2021 Orange).

Scoring Summary

First-quarter

OSU: 8:38 - Alex Hale 18-yard field goal. Drive 10 plays, 85 yards. TOP: 4:42. Oklahoma State 3, Texas A&M 0.

A&M: 4:34 - Randy Bond 37-yard field goal. Drive 11 plays, 56 yards. TOP: 4:04. Oklahoma State 3, Texas A&M 3.

A&M: 00:21 - Alan Bowman 13-yard touchdown pass to Rashod Owens. Drive: 10 plays, 65 yards. TOP: 4:13. Oklahoma State 10, Texas A&M 3.

Second-quarter

A&M: 11:31 - Randy Bond 24-yard field goal. Drive 7 plays, 67 yards. TOP: 3:50. Oklahoma State 10, Texas A&M 6.

OSU: 9:29 - Gunnar Gundy 10-yard rushing touchdown. Drive: 6 plays, 75 yards. TOP: 2:02. Oklahoma State 17, Texas A&M 6.

OSU: 00:35 - Ollie Gordon 1-yard rushing touchdown. Drive: 13 plays, 83 yards. TOP: 2:37. Oklahoma State 24, Texas A&M 6.

Third-quarter

A&M: 9:44 - Amari Daniels 2-yard rushing touchdown. Drive: 6 plays, 60 yards. TOP: 3:23. Oklahoma State 24, Texas A&M 13.

OSU: 7:17 - Alan Bowman 18-yard touchdown pass to Rashod Owens. Drive: 6 plays, 80 yards. TOP: 2:19. Oklahoma State 31, Texas A&M 13.

A&M: 4:08 - Marcel Reed 20-yard rushing touchdown. Drive: 6 plays, 75 yards. TOP: 3:09. Oklahoma State 31, Texas A&M 20.

Fourth-quarter

A&M: 5:07 - Randy Bond 51-yard field goal. Drive 7 plays, 47 yards. TOP: 2:57. Oklahoma State 31, Texas A&M 23.

Discussion from...

Post Game Review: No. 20 Oklahoma State 31, Texas A&M 23

11,671 Views | 2 Replies | Last: 5 mo ago by rondis23
Charlie 31
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It sucks to suck!
rondis23
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Charlie 31 said:

It sucks to suck!


Is this your Sig? I've seen this in multiple posts from you already.
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