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Instant Recap: Oklahoma State Reaches 10 Wins with 31-23 Texas Bowl Victory against Texas A&M

That’s a wrap on 2023.

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[Devin Wilber/PFB]

Texas A&M wasn’t a problem in Houston for the Cowboys.

Oklahoma State concluded its 2023 season with a 31-23 win against Texas A&M in the Texas Bowl on Wednesday night at NRG Stadium. The victory put the No. 20 Pokes at 10 wins for the eighth time under coach Mike Gundy, finishing the season at 10-4.

The Cowboys had all of their weapons to work with in the Texas Bowl, a rarity in bowl games nowadays, while the Aggies were reportedly down to less than 55 scholarship players, including only three at receiver. And the Pokes made sure to utilize all of their major weapons.

Earlier this week, Doak Walker Award winner Ollie Gordon announced he would return to OSU in 2024 despite worry from the fan base that the nation’s leading rusher would leave for greener pastures. Gordon rushed for 118 yards and a touchdown on 27 carries.

Brennan Presley has yet to announce if he’ll return for an extra season, but if it was his last game as a Cowboy, he finished at the top, literally. Presley tied OSU’s record for most receptions in a game with 16. He tied a record that Alex Loyd set in 1949 and Presley was one shy of tying earlier this season against Houston. Presley finished with 152 receiving yards and 34 passing yards.

In four bowl appearances, Presley had 38 catches for 481 yards, averaging 120.25 receiving yards in bowl games.

Presley still wasn’t OSU’s biggest standout at receiver in the Texas Bowl, though. Rashod Owens led the Cowboys with 164 receiving yards and two touchdowns on 10 catches.

Owens scored the Cowboys’ first touchdown when he Moss’d a defender in the corner of the end zone to bring down a 13-yard catch and put OSU ahead 10-3 with 21 seconds left in the first quarter.

Owens also set up OSU’s second touchdown when he caught a 34-yard pass from Presley on a trick play. A receiver throwing a pass to another receiver wasn’t the weirdest play of the drive, though. The next play, quarterback Gunnar Gundy, the son of coach Mike Gundy who entered the transfer portal earlier this month, took a direct snap for a 10-yard score.

Gordon found the end zone for the only time on a one-yard run just before the half to push OSU’s halftime lead to 24-6 after the Cowboys scored two unanswered touchdowns and kept the Aggies out of the end zone in the first half. OSU wasn’t as in control as it seemed, though.

Texas A&M finally found the end zone with 9:44 left in the third quarter on an Amari Daniels two-yard run to shorten the count to 24-13. The Cowboys answered on their next drive with an 18-yard touchdown connection from Alan Bowman to Owens. But then the Aggies struck again with a 20-yard touchdown run from Marcel Reed, making the score 31-20 with 4:08 left in the third quarter.

The teams exchanged turnovers to start the fourth quarter, as Xavier Benson forced a fumble that Nickolas Martin Martin recovered on OSU’s one-yard line before Bowman threw his second interception of the game. The Cowboys held Texas A&M to a three-and-out, though, forcing the Aggies to punt for the first time in the second half with 9:34 left in the game.

Down 31-23, the Aggies got within 43 yards from OSU’s end zone on their last drive, but Kendal Daniels ultimately intercepted a Hail Mary to end the game and season.

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