Oklahoma State and Texas A&M will face off for the first time since 2011 on Friday when they play in the Texas Bowl at NRG Stadium in Houston. The Cowboys (8-4,) have won four straight games in the series against the Aggies (7-5), their former Big 12 Conference opponent.
OSU has thrived in the postseason with three straight bowl victories and seven of their past nine under the tutelage of Mike Gundy. The Aggies, meanwhile, are 1-0 under Jimbo Fisher after losing three straight under former coach Kevin Sumlin.
OSU redshirt freshman quarterback Spencer Sanders will play after missing the past two games following surgery on his right thumb. He threw for 2,065 yards and 16 touchdown passes before the injury. Graduate transfer quarterback Dru Brown is expected to play as well.
The Cowboys offense goes through running back Chuba Hubbard, who led the FBS with 1,936 rushing yards and had 21 rushing touchdowns. It’ll likely be the redshirt sophomore’s final game as a Cowboy before he enters the 2020 NFL Draft. He needs only 64 rushing yards to hit the 2,000-yard mark this season.
OSU’s secondary will look different than in the regular season with the absence of safeties Kolby Harvell-Peel and Tre Sterling. Harvell-Peel, a College Station, Texas native, will miss the game due to a knee injury, while Sterling is out for the first half because of a targeting call against Oklahoma in OSU’s regular-season finale.
The Aggies faced one of the hardest schedules in the country this season by playing three teams that were ranked No. 1 at one time during the season and faced five teams ranked in the top 10, including three on the road. A&M beat the teams it was suppose to beat and lost to the those they were expected to.
Junior quarterback Kellen Mond threw for 2,802 yards and 19 touchdowns. He’s a mobile passer that can create plays outside of the pocket and cut up opposing defenses with his ability to run the ball.
Aggie running back Isaiah Spiller is also trying to reach a milestone with 131 rushing yards for 1,000 this season. Spiller might see more carries with Cordarrian Richardson not playing for undisclosed reasons. Jhamon Ausbon is A&M’s top wide receiver with 862 yards and four touchdowns on 65 receptions.
How to watch
What: Oklahoma State vs. Texas A&M
When: 5:45 p.m. Friday, Dec. 27
Where: NRG Stadium, Houston
Odds: Texas A&M 5.5