Oklahoma State vs Texas A&M
When: 6:45 PM ET, Friday, December 27, 2019
Where: NRG Stadium, Houston, Texas
Preview for Digital Sports Desk by Gracenote
ACADEMY SPORTS + OUTDOORS TEXAS BOWL STORYLINES
- Former Big 12 rivals Oklahoma State and Texas A&M will be on the same field for the first time in eight years when they square off in the Texas Bowl on Dec. 27 in Houston. The No. 25 Cowboys won the final four meetings between the teams and are appearing in a bowl game for the 14th straight season, the ninth-longest active streak in the nation. The Aggies are right behind with an 11-season bowl streak that ranks 10th.
- There has yet to be a formal announcement per whether or not Oklahoma State sophomore All-American running back Chuba Hubbard will declare for the NFL draft and skip the bowl game or decide to play. Hubbard, who rushed for 1,936 yards and 21 touchdowns this season, is currently projected to be a second-round pick and recently told reporters he has requested his draft grade from the NFL. Cowboys coach Mike Gundy had this take: “I haven’t talked to him about it, but I would expect him to play in this game.”
- Oklahoma State and Texas A&M were conference mates from 1996-2011 before the Aggies – who hold a 17-10 series edge – departed the Big 12 in favor of the SEC. Gundy said he wished the Aggies were still in the Big 12 but Fisher said there is no question the SEC is the right league for Texas A&M. “We love being in the SEC,” Fisher said. “Tremendous challenges. You know our schedule and who we play week-in and week-out. Just like the Big 12 is a great conference, it’s still a good thing for us to be in the SEC.”
TV: 6:45 p.m. ET, ESPN. LINE: Texas A&M -7.
ABOUT OKLAHOMA STATE (8-4): Hubbard notched 11 100-yard games, including four efforts of more than 200 yards, in an epic campaign in which his 2019 yardage ranks second in school history behind the NCAA-record 2,850 yards (counting a bowl game) that Barry Sanders racked up in 1988. Redshirt freshman quarterback Spencer Sanders (2,065 yards, 16 touchdowns, 11 interceptions) missed the final two games of the regular season after undergoing surgery on his right (passing) thumb and could be cleared to start practicing about 7 to 10 days before the bowl – if he can’t play, senior Dru Brown (626 yards, five TDs, one pick) will start. The Cowboys allow 27 points per game but have a trio of solid playmakers in sophomore safety Kolby Harvell-Peel (team-high five interceptions), junior safety Malcolm Rodriguez (team-best 94 tackles) and junior linebacker Amen Ogbongbemiga (team-leading 14.5 stops for loss).
ABOUT TEXAS A&M (7-5): The Aggies were obliterated 50-7 by top-ranked LSU in their regular-season finale and now won’t have the services of junior defensive tackle Justin Madubuike (team-high 5.5 sacks), who declared for the NFL draft and is skipping the bowl game. Junior quarterback Kellen Mond was just 10-of-30 passing for 92 yards and three interceptions in that game and he enters the bowl game with 2,802 yards, 19 touchdowns and nine interceptions. Running back Isaiah Spiller rushed for 869 and nine touchdowns in a promising freshman campaign and had a 217-yard outing among his four 100-yard outings.
PREDICTION: Texas A&M 33, Oklahoma State 31