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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Players to watch: Oklahoma State

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Photo by Chris Swann
Junior WR Jahdae Walker (9) jukes away from OSU S Cameron Epps (7) for a first down during the 2023 TexAct Texas Bowl on Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2023 at NRG Stadium. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)

After returning to a bowl game after missing out last season, Texas A&M football is set to play in the TaxAct Texas Bowl against Oklahoma State.

Here are the players to watch when the two programs return to NRG Stadium in Houston for the second time in the bowl’s history.

Ollie Gordon ll, Oklahoma State running back
The 2023 Doak Walker award winner has officially proved his status as the top running back of the season.

Gordon led the nation in rushing yards with 1,614, was third overall in all-purpose yards, and was second in yards per game with a little over 124. The Cowboys’ offense this year flowed through Gordan, as he accounted for 20 touchdowns out of the team’s 44 total.

If the Aggies’ defense can hold Gordon to under 100 yards, the Cowboys will have a tough time getting anything accomplished on the offensive side of the ball.

Bryce Anderson, Texas A&M defensive back
Anderson finished out the 2023 season as a key component in the secondary, with 47 combined tackles, the fourth most on the team.

He was also a key contributor to major plays on defense, accounting for four pass breakups, an interception, a forced fumble and recovery.

Even though the Aggies will be losing key pieces leading up to the bowl game due to the transfer portal and the NFL Draft, Anderson is set to fill in for star senior DB Amani Richardson and pick up his workload.

Anderson needs to have a great outing in front of the new coaching staff, which will not only shed a better light on the end of the Jimbo Fisher era, but also help influence his own starting chances for next season.

Nickolas Martin, Oklahoma State linebacker
Sophomores control both sides of the ball on this Cowboys’ squad. Martin is the leading tackler with 133 combined and is tied with junior linebacker Collin Oliver for the most sacks at six.

In Martin’s latest bout against Texas in the Big 12 Championship, he accounted for 13 combined tackles and an interception in Oklahoma State’s 49-21 loss.

He’s been a major playmaker for the Cowboys, not only at the line of scrimmage and backfield but also in the secondary, accounting for two interceptions and a forced fumble.

Even though this Oklahoma State defense has given up 40-plus point games to teams like Texas and UCF, the Maroon and White will need to be consistent in the air to handle this matchup.

Jaylen Henderson, Texas A&M quarterback
The infamous Aggie quarterback carousel struck again in Week 10 after sophomore QB Max Johnson was injured in A&M’s loss to Ole Miss.

This time the lead role has fallen into the lap of the Fresno, California native, who has led the Fightin’ Farmers to a 2-1 record since getting his first start against Mississippi State.

Since then, the sophomore has tallied six passing touchdowns and two rushing with a completion rate of 57% or better.

Oklahoma State ranks 103rd in FBS in total rushing defense, so if Henderson can get the offense started on the ground, A&M should be able to get down the field and produce.

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