In what is the first-of-many bowl games for the SEC across the next two weeks, Texas A&M plays their final game before the Mike Elko era begins Wednesday night, as the Aggies take on Oklahoma State in the TaxAct Texas Bowl. A matchup of two former Big 12 foes, the two teams have met only once since Texas A&M made the move to the SEC in 2012, with the Aggies winning that game in 2019 by a final score of 24-21.
Led by long-time head coach Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State was ranked as the nation's No. 20 team in the final College Football Playoff Rankings, and enter bowl season at 9-4 overall, as well as the runner up in the Big 12 at 7-3 in conference play. The Cowboys, as mentioned previously, are also coming off a loss where they fell to Texas in the Big 12 Championship Game by a final score of 49-21.
Averaging 29.5 PPG, the Cowboys offense is headlined by the nation's leading rusher in 2023 Doak Walker Award winner and Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year OIlie Gordon, who has rushed for 1,614 yards and 20 touchdowns so far this season. The Cowboys offense is also led by quarterback Alan Bowman, while Brennan Presley, Rashod Owens, Leon Johnson III, and Jaden Bray are the top pass catchers.
Oklahoma State's defense is allowing 29 PPG to opponents, and are led by the Big 12's top tackler in linebacker Nickolas Martin, who has 133 for the season. The Cowboys also have two others who are approaching the 100-tackle mark for the year in Kendal Daniels and Trey Rucker, while the top pass rusher for Oklahoma State is Collin Oliver, who is tied with Martin with a team-high six sacks so far this season.
On special teams, Oklahoma State has one primary returner in the aforementioned Presley, while the kicking duties are handled by Alex Hale. The Cowboys have also used two punters this season in both Hudson Kaak and Wes Pahl.
As for Texas A&M, this will be the Aggies last game before the Mike Elko era begins as mentioned previously. The Aggies sit at 7-5 overall for the year, as well as 4-4 in SEC play, and are coming off a 42-30 road loss at LSU to conclude the regular season.
Averaging 34.2 PPG offensively, Texas A&M will be without multiple prominent players in this game, with their offense led by quarterback Jaylen Henderson. The running game for the Aggies will likely feature Amari Daniels, Le'Veon Moss, and Rueben Owens, while the top pass catchers will be Ainias Smith, Jahdae Walker, Noah Thomas, and Moose Muhammad III.
Texas A&M's defense, which allows 21.3 PPG to opponents, will also be without a few prominent names, a unit that is headlined by one of the SEC's top linebackers in Edgerrin Cooper. Also among the top tacklers for the Aggies this season are the likes of Taurean York, Demani Richardson, Bryce Anderson, and Jacoby Matthews, among others.
Special teams for the Aggies is headlined by kicker Randy Bond, while Texas A&M's punter is Nik Constantinou. The previously mentioned Smith returns punts for the Aggies, while Owens is the primary kickoff returner.
Oklahoma State vs. Texas A&M Line, Spread, Over/Under
As of Friday, December 22, Texas A&M is a 1.5-point favorite over Oklahoma State in the TaxAct Texas Bowl according to FanDuel. The Aggies are also at -125, while Oklahoma State is at +104, and the over/under sits at 52.5.
Oklahoma State vs. Texas A&M TaxAct Texas Bowl Prediction
A game that should be close throughout, the pick to win goes to Texas A&M by a slim margin. I'll say that the Aggies receive a strong game offensively from their running backs, and end the 2023 season on a high note as they enter the Elko era in 2024. Prediction: Oklahoma State 24, Texas A&M 27
What Channel is the Oklahoma State vs. Texas A&M Game On?
The TaxAct Texas Bowl will be played Wednesday, December 27, 2023 from NRG Stadium in Houston, TX at 9:00 PM ET on ESPN or ESPN+.
Oklahoma State vs. Texas A&M Live Stream
A live stream of Oklahoma State vs. Texas A&M can be found here on fuboTV.
Odds refresh periodically and are subject to change