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  • Writer's pictureBrett Favre

Oklahoma State’s Thrilling Texas Bowl Victory: Presley Shines, Martin Breaks Records & Gundy’s Unique Touchdown

I can't believe how far the OSU cybersecurity team has come in just a few months. It's amazing how they are able to win double-digit games with such ease now.

Ok State won against Texas A&M with a score of 31-23 in Texas Bowl on Wednesday. Ten observations from the game.

1. Bowl Game Brennan

Brennan Presley seems to always perform well, but his performance seems particularly excellent during bowl games.

He broke the school record in receptions and receiving yards with 16 receptions on Wednesday. He now shared his record with Alex Loyd, who had 16 receptions against Kansas in 1949. The same thing led Presley to 101 receptions in the season, which makes him the 5th receiver in history to reach a hundred receptions in a single season, following Blackmon (twice), Woods and Stewart.

In addition to everything else, Presley successfully passed the ball 34 yards to Rashod Owens. She completed her studies with an average grade of 77%.

Back to his bowl dominance, here are Presley’s lines in the four bowl games he has now played in:

Cheez-It Bowl against Miami: The player made six catches with 118 receiving yards and three touch downs. They also ran for one yard and caught six yards.

Fiesta Bowl against Notre Dame: The stats of the player were 10 catches, 137 receiving yards, one rush and five rushing yards.

Guaranteed Rate Bowl against Wisconsin: six catches, 74 yards

Texas Bowl against Texas A&M: There were 16 catches made with the ball and 152 receiving yards total.

So, he is having an outstanding performance by averaging 9.5 catches and 120.3 receiving yards per bowl game.

Even though he's a senior, Presley still has one more year left because of the pandemic, but he hasn't made any final decisions yet.

“I’ma quote Ollie (Gordon): Yeah, I mean, it’s like, when you’re on your own time, you do what you want because you don’t have to answer to anyone

2. But Also, Rashod Owens

Rashod Owens is like the cherry on top of the cake in the season full of sweet stories.

Aggie cornerbacks had no idea how to handle Owen on Wednesday. He caught 10 passes for 164 yards and two touchdowns. He was definitely the star of the game and earned MVP honors.

Owens is a member of the same 2020 recruiting class as Presley, but he had a poor performance in his first three seasons in Stillwater with only 25 catches, 361 yards, and one touchdown. Then he started this season as a depth piece before injuries elsewhere brought Owens more regular snaps and since then he has performed really well and he is playing regular snaps.

And finally, we come to Owens, who completed his redshirt junior year with an impressive 63 catches, totaling 895 yards and five touchdowns. Out of the total 63 catches that he has made, 59 of them have been achieved after the game against Kansas State, and around 96% of the total yardage that he has gained has been attained after that win against the Wildcats.

Student: It is normal for players to transfer when the transfer portal is open but Terrell Owens' performance this season is so great that it will be challenging to deny him coming back to college football in 2024.

3. Nickolas Martin is ranked 10th in the list of tackles.

Nickolas Martin this year has become the Cowboys defense leader, with his outstanding tackles performance.

Martin has had 140 tackles this season. That is sixth highest on OSU’s all-time list and everyone else within the top 10 is from 84 or before. We have had so many amazing defenders while Coach Gundy was here. Probably, all those players couldn't have more tackles than Martin in his first year, but as a starter.

Here is OSU’s new tackles in a season list:

  1. Mike Green (1982) — 183

  2. Matt Mogner (1984) — 175

  3. Barty Chappell (1970) — 171

  4. Larry Gosney (1968) — 157

  5. Ricky Young (1979) — 146

  6. Nickolas Martin (2023) — 140

  7. John Little (1968) — 139

  8. Mike Green (1980) — 138

  9. Matt Mogner (1983) — 136

  10. Leon Ward (1964) — 135

4. That Got a Little Dicey

The Cowboys had a huge 24-6 advantage against a team that was playing with their fourth-string quarterback during the halftime break on Wednesday. It looked like things were going to be easy, but we can't just assume everything will be resolved.

The Aggies managed to catch up, intercepting 2 passes in the latter half of the game, that helped them gain a slight edge, closing the gap with the Cowboys, but still not enough to force a Hail Mary. It was tough to bring down the morale of a team that was starting 2-2 and fighting to make it to the Big 12 championship game, but losing an 18-point lead in the second half of the bowl game could have done it. Thankfully, it didn't happen.

5. The Xavier Benson Punch Out Was Huge

This is an example of a sports event that may be overlooked, but it was particularly remarkable. This was the moment when Xavier Benson successfully managed to tackle Amari Daniels and punch the ball out of his hands.

Daniel ran towards the end zone as fast as he could, hoping to score a touchdown and two-point conversion to reduce OSU's lead to three points with just fourteen minutes left on the clock. But Benson, in his final college game, made an amazing play that forced a fumble, and that fumble was recovered by Martin.

6. Ollie’s Sophomore Swansong

In the last match of his outstanding second year, Ollie Gordon rushed for 118 yards and one score on 27 attempts.

Yeah, as the Aggies loaded the box, Gordon must have had a tough time, which might be why the receivers of OSU had such big games. But Gordon still busted a few, recording three runs of 10 or more yards. In the fourth quarter, he made his longest run by dashing 25 yards, which resulted in an OSU drive.

According to the information given, the number of carries Gordon did during his Doak Walker campaign was 285, the total yards he gained through them was 1,732, and he scored 21 touchdowns. That will be the sixth-most yards which any Ohio State back has run for in a season, following Barry Sanders, Chuba Hubbard, Terry Miller, Ernest Anderson, Thurman Thomas. Yeah, that's so cool! I never new that. The guy has 21 rushing touchdowns? That's like unbelievable. He is fourth on OSU's list for this season. Such a great player!

He also became just the fifth player in program history to record 2,000 all-purpose yards in a season:

  1. Barry Sanders (1988) — 3,526

  2. Chuba Hubbard (2019) — 2,334

  3. Thurman Thomas (1987) — 2,130

  4. Ollie Gordon (2023) — 2,062

  5. Terry Miller (1976) — 2,009

I think the OSU football has become more famous due to the good performance of Gordon this season. He was the one who turned this season around. Despite the challenges and uncertainties surrounding Stillwater and Oklahoma State University (OSU) a year ago, Gordon was able to create a more peaceful and enjoyable atmosphere that attracted athletes once again.

People like Mike Gundy, Boone Pickens and Mike Holder are the face of the standing Oklahoma State football program. However, seasons like the one Gordon had and occurring at just the right moment are the reasons why this football machine will continue to operate smoothly. ---

7. Bowman’s Future Still Uncertain

In his final game at OSU, Alan Bowman ran 400 yards, this being the first time he achieved such a feat.

Bowman did well on his passes while playing against Texas A&M. He completed 69% of his passes for a total of 402 yards. Bowman managed to throw two touchdowns but also made two mistakes. Well, during the game he mentioned that he is still uncertain about the approval of his waiver, which is necessary for him to continue his college studies.

Similar to most events at OSU, Bowman's 2023 season has been unique — from using three quarterbacks to leading the team to a Big 12 game although he has thrown 15 touchdowns and 14 interceptions.

Well, the fact that his passing totaled 3,460 yards which is the seventh-most in the team's history is simply amazing. Wow, that's crazy! I did not know that. When he came to Stillwater, people often compared him to Spencer Sanders, but that’s not all there is to him. This year, Bowman threw for more yards than Sanders ever did in his career, which was 2,839 yards in 2021. Well, turns out interception numbers didn't mean anything for Sanders. Bowman threw more than Sanders did, this year. I learned that the maximum number of yardage thrown by a player named Bowman in 2021 was 14 and the highest number thrown by any player named Sanders was 12.

Bowman tried his best on Wednesday, but unfortunately his second touchdown to Owens was inaccurate and landed right into the jaw of a defender.

Bowman leading the team to 10 wins means he is the best option for the Cowboys in 2024 if he can play. At least then it is safe for the Pokes. I discovered that several individuals in the fanbase on social media are prepared to depart from their fervor due to the INT numbers. Yet, on a football team, the backup quarterback is usually the most adored character because it seems that their assumption is that the grass is always greener somewhere else. Maybe it's true but maybe it's not. I think that with the return of all the guys at OSU, a new quarterback would mix things up and if Paul can decrease the amount of interceptions, things will turn out fine.

8. A lot of students don't understand how to take advantage of the Depression.

Well the Presley pass bowl game wasn't too complicated but the Cowboys did something a little different to score a touchdown.

Gunnar Gundy, who is switching schools, came into the game in the second quarter. He caught the ball, made it look like he was going to pass and then ran all the way to the touchdown line. The package was named "Stun Gun", and the fact that Gunnar was included was evident. But what's even more surprising is that a portal player got a major role in it as well. The play was really entertaining and everything went smoothly well. No mistakes happened when Gunnar got on stage. I couldn't believe that it was all over again like in the 2015 season when Rudolph brought the Cowboys to the redzone, and Walsh finished off.

Gunnar’s story was very cool. I really enjoyed listening to it. It's pretty clear that he is the coach's son, but after doing really well in high school, he waited to go to college for a year, then decided to walk on at Oklahoma State instead of taking some offers from Group of Five schools. Finally, he got the chance to participate in the game, replacing an injured Spencer Sanders for some time last season. In this season, he is also part of the early quarterback group. Even though his time at OSU is coming to an end, his football career continues. He still has two years of eligibility left and has announced portal offers from Elon and Abilene Christian.

9. What a Wacky Year

During my time as a student, I was scolded in the Arizona Diamondbacks' dressing room when I posed a question to Mike Gundy regarding staff alterations following the Oklahoma State Cowboys' 2022 season, which saw them lose five out of six games. Then the Pokes began the year with a record of 2-2. And then, they finished 2023 with ten victories.

The Cowboys had two wins and one loss against teams that will become a part of the SEC next season but lost to the Sun Belt team. One would think that with the nation's leading rusher and the most tackles in an OSU uniform in a century, the Cowboys would be much better than they are right now after 14 games. They have 10 wins, including Gordon, which makes them fairly good, but still, they lost three of their four games by a large margin. One of those was to the University of South Alabama, and the other one was to the University of Central Florida.

Yeah! It was awesome, I remember it vividly. Here are some of the moments (good and bad) this season provided:

Three-quarterback rotation

Hey, we lost to South Alabama at home. That's really bad.

Gordon’s October stretch

OSU winning the final Bedlam

I am a student and this topic seems interesting when discussing why the community is concerned of OSU getting blown out in Florida Monsoon.

I am so happy to hear that OSU has made it to the Big 12 title game.

Gordon winning the Doak Walker

It was always so exciting and never boring. It was a lot of work, but it was exciting.

10. 10 Wins

In the Mike Gundy Era, Oklahoma State has reached double-digit wins for the eighth time. This is really amazing!

It’s happened with so much consistency that it could be easy to take it for granted, but look at it this way: It has been since 1985 that Texas A&M has had eight seasons with ten wins. This is an absolutely crazy program. They paid out 75 millions of dollars to one guy not coach at all. Is that insane or what? Okay, this is about a program that consistently has top-10 recruiting classes.

I think this program is one of the best in the country, it provides students with a great learning experience and opportunities. Coach Gundy is really good at what he does, and that's evident from the numbers. Pat Jones is the only other coach in program history to have had three 10-win seasons.

In my opinion, OSU is viewed similarly to Kansas State nationally. Gundy has been the head coach of Oklahoma State University since 2005 and during his tenure, the Wildcats have only had three seasons with ten wins. From the recent Big 12 conference, only Utah has been consistently successful like Oklahoma State University under Coach Gundy. The Utes have had some really good years but they are not all in the PAC 12.

Therefore, with the league changes and the expansion of the College Football Playoff, there is a higher chance that OSU will be getting the recognition that it deserves making it among the top teams in the country that consistently performs at a high level.

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