TaxAct Texas Bowl: Texas A&M vs Oklahoma State

By Will Bateman

Welcome to Bowl Season! 84 teams, 42 matchups, 35 different cities; if you thought the College Football postseason was restricted to the four teams in the playoffs, think again. In this game preview, we turn our attention to the TaxAct Texas Bowl between Texas A&M and Oklahoma State

Where and When

TaxAct Texas Bowl

Location: NRG Stadium, Houston, TX

Date: 27th December 2023

Time: 9:00pm (ET)

The Story So Far...

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The Texas Bowl, or to give it it’s full name the TaxAct Texas Bowl, has been running in its current iteration since 2006 and is played at the home of the Houston Texans, NRG Stadium.

First things first, being a Texas A&M fan is not for the faint of heart. Entering this season with some renewed hope following a disastrous year in 2022, all eyes were on Jimbo Fisher to deliver following his mammoth contract extension signed in 2021, of course in true Aggies fashion Fisher was shown the door in November with one of the most golden of golden handshakes in the form of a $76 million payout.

After finishing the regular season with a 7-5 record, including ranked losses against Alabama, Tennessee, Ole Miss and LSU (as well as an unranked Miami), A&M brought back their former Defensive Coordinator and then Head Coach at Duke Mike Elko to fill the Jimbo sized vacancy.

In contrast to the Aggies woes, Oklahoma State have had a banner year with the Pokes finishing the regular season 9-4.  This included a big rivalry win against the then no.10 Sooners (only their third Bedlam win in 10 years) and a loss in the Big 12 Championship Game against the Texas Longhorns. For veteran Head Coach Mike Gundy (soon to be entering his 20th season at Boone Pickens Stadium) this has been a season to remember.

The Quarterbacks

With former starting QB Max Johnson heading to North Carolina, the Aggies turn to third-string quarterback Jaylen Henderson for this bowl game. Henderson, a dual threat quarterback who flashed real potential during the loss to LSU earlier in the season, started the final three games of the regular season with eight touchdowns and just two interceptions.

The Pokes on other hand have a veteran QB in place with Alan Bowman seeking another year of NCAA eligibility to stretch his college career into its seventh year. Bowman threw 13 touchdowns during the regular season alongside 12 interceptions, but OK State are much more focused on their ground game.

Prospects To Watch

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As mentioned above, third string QB Jaylen Henderson will be in the pocket for the Aggies. The former Fresno State man showed some promise in the narrow defeat to LSU earlier this year and as a dual threat QB he certainly adds something different to this A&M offense putting up 500+ yards in the final two games of the season so it’ll be interesting to see how he goes down against the Pokes.

Who else to mention from Oklahoma State than Ollie Gordon II. Fresh from a nation-leading 1,614 rushing yards, 20 rushing touchdowns and the small matter of the Doak Walker Award (given to the best running back in college football), its fair to say that Gordon is something else and he’s worth all of your attention in this game.


Led by Ollie Gordon II, the Pokes have had a fantastic season; although they’re coming off a loss in the Big 12 Championship game, I think they have more than enough in the tank to overcome an Aggies team very much in transition after the departure of Jimbo Fisher.

Texas A&M 25 – 36 Oklahoma State

Will Bateman


Will works in communications and is a relatively new convert to College Football. Alongside the Minnesota Gophers, he’s an avid fan of the Buffalo Bills, Philadelphia Phillies and Tottenham Hotspur. Follow him on Twitter @ItsWillBateman