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May 29, 2024

Oklahoma State Defeats Texas A&M in TaxAct Texas Bowl

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Dec 28, 2023

Oklahoma State overcame a 10-point deficit to defeat Texas A&M 31-23 in the 2023 TaxAct Texas Bowl on Wednesday night in Houston. The Cowboys capped off an impressive season with their 11th win, while the shorthanded Aggies dropped their final game under head coach Jimbo Fisher.

Cowboys Rally Behind MVP Performance from Brennan Presley

Despite entering the game as the favorites, Oklahoma State found themselves trailing 20-10 late in the first half. However, a touchdown catch by Brennan Presley sparked a 21-3 run to close out the game for the Cowboys.

Presley finished with 7 catches for 113 yards and 2 touchdowns, earning him MVP honors for the game. Freshman quarterback Garrett Rangel overcame a shaky first half to throw for 214 yards and a pair of scores. The offense took advantage of a depleted Texas A&M secondary missing several starters.

After the game, Presley spoke about his connection with Rangel:

“Garrett stayed composed. He came up to me at halftime and said he’d get the ball in my hands and we’d make plays. That’s what we did.”

The Cowboys struggled to establish the run early on, but senior Deondre Jackson broke out in the second half, punishing the Aggies defense for 78 yards. Overall, Oklahoma State outgained Texas A&M 403-329 for the game.

Injuries, Opt-Outs Doom Aggies in Fisher Era Finale

Texas A&M entered the game extremely shorthanded on both sides of the ball. They were missing their top two quarterbacks along with standout defensive backs Antonio Johnson and Demani Richardson. Several other players opted out to prepare for the 2023 NFL Draft.

Former QB3 Conner Weigman led an inspired effort in the first half, throwing for 174 yards and a touchdown. But the offense stalled in the second half as he appeared to be dealing with a shoulder issue. The Aggies simply lacked the depth and healthy talent to keep pace with Oklahoma State down the stretch.

After starting QB Haynes King transferred and prized freshman Anthony Lucas opted out, head coach Jimbo Fisher faced pressure coming into the bowl game. The loss likely sealed his firing after five seasons in College Station. Fisher spoke about the adversity postgame:

“I’m so proud of these guys for battling…we just couldn’t overcome everything that was stacked against us. It’s disappointing, but this team never stopped fighting.”

Team 1 2 3 4 Final
Oklahoma State 10 7 0 14 31
Texas A&M 10 10 3 0 23

The Aggies end Fisher’s tenure at 55% wins but struggled to meet expectations recently. They are expected to target a top head coach candidate to replace Fisher and return to SEC title contention.

Longhorns Coach Sarkisian Trolls Aggies with Cryptic Tweet

As their in-state rivals lost amidst a likely coaching change, Texas Longhorns head coach Steve Sarkisian took the opportunity to stir the pot on Twitter:

The tweet is especially bold considering the Longhorns’ struggles against the Aggies lately, with Texas A&M winning the last two meetings in the series. However, Sarkisian led Texas to an impressive 9-4 record in 2022 and appears confident about contending with the Aggies going forward.

Many felt Sarkisian was trolling Fisher, who notoriously called out Texas’ NIL deals last offseason. The rivalry seems poised to heat up again in the coming years if Texas A&M lands an elite new head coach.

For now, the Longhorns get the last laugh while the Aggies face a long offseason of uncertainty.

Eyes on 2023: What’s Next for Both Programs

In the immediate future, all eyes will be on Texas A&M’s coaching search. With abundant resources and a talented roster, the school should have no issues landing a big name like Deion Sanders, Lane Kiffin or even Urban Meyer. Boosters will be hungry to reclaim in-state dominance after recent struggles against Baylor, TCU and Texas.

Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy will lose Brennan Presley but returns his two-quarterback system with Garret Rangel and Spencer Sanders battling next season. The Cowboys will be favorites to repeat as Big 12 contenders after an outstanding 2022 campaign.

Today brought closure to a memorable year for both programs. While the Aggies face a steep climb back into national prominence, Oklahoma State seems poised to remain annual Big 12 threats under Gundy’s leadership. One thing is certain – the Texas and Oklahoma college football landscape continues to deliver excitement every season.

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AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

To err is human, but AI does it too. Whilst factual data is used in the production of these articles, the content is written entirely by AI. Double check any facts you intend to rely on with another source.

By AiBot

AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

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