The Six Shooter: Six pregame thoughts on OSU vs. Texas A&M in the Texas Bowl
HOUSTON — We have a problem.
It’s a Six Shooter that needs to be unloaded before Oklahoma State and Texas A&M play at 5:45 p.m. Friday in the Texas Bowl, televised by ESPN.
So let’s fire away:
Cowboy in the Crosshairs
OSU running back Chuba Hubbard
Of course it’s him. He will be the most-watched player in this game by fans of both teams, or the random fan who comes across the game while flipping channels.
All the reasons it’s important for Hubbard to have a good game are obvious, so let’s look at some numbers that could frame the historical view of Hubbard’s season.
He’s 64 yards away from 2,000 for the season. That feat has only been accomplished 31 times by 29 players in the history of college football. Troy Davis of Iowa State and Ron Dayne of Wisconsin each did it twice.
I'll save you the math, Hubbard is 164 yards away from 2,100 for the season. That has only been accomplished 17 times.
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Based on past performances, a 264-yard game is not out of the realm of possibility for Hubbard. Only six others have reached the 2,200-yard mark in a season.
Matchup that Matters
Texas A&M running back Isaiah Spiller vs. OSU linebacker Malcolm Rodriguez
A true freshman, Spiller hasn’t put up ridiculous numbers, but he’s proven to be a slippery guy, with 869 yards and four 100-yard games, tying a Texas A&M true freshman record.
Keeping him corralled will be key for the OSU defense to cut down on quarterback Kellen Mond’s options. Rodriguez, the team’s most reliable tackler, should find himself one-on-one with Spiller regularly Friday.
Number to Know
Texas A&M’s rushing yards allowed per game. Conversely, Hubbard is averaging 161.3 per game by himself. Texas A&M lost one of its primary run-stoppers when junior defensive tackle Justin Madubuike declared for the NFL Draft and decided to skip the bowl game.
Still, Texas A&M is loaded with big guys up the middle. Jayden Peavy, a 6-foot-6, 298-pound is listed on the depth chart in Madubuike’s spot, alongside 6-foot-4, 325-pound sophomore tackle Bobby Brown III.
It’s an odd offering, sure. But the uniform crew has been sticking with combos that have some relevance to the matchup. The orange-white-black look that had been consistent during OSU’s winning streak at Texas. The black-orange-black combo against OU, a salute to the Cowboys’ 2011 Bedlam victory in Stillwater.
Gray-white-gray was the combination in OSU’s 30-29 win over Texas A&M the last time the teams met. For the record, I’m still shocked we haven’t seen white-orange-white this season, so that’s my backup play.
OSU Bowl Record by Date
Initially, this was going to be an historical look at OSU’s past bowl games on Dec. 27. But as you’ll see below, the Pokes have only played once on this date heading into what will be the program’s 30th bowl appearance (19-10 overall record). That came in the 2002 Houston Bowl, the predecessor to the Texas Bowl.
So instead, here’s a look at OSU’s bowl record by date:
Dec. 12: 0-1
Dec. 13: 1-0
Dec. 19: 1-0
Dec. 25: 1-0
Dec. 27: 1-0
Dec. 28: 4-0
Dec. 29: 2-1
Dec. 30: 1-3
Dec. 31: 3-0
Jan. 1: 3-2
Jan. 2: 2-2
Jan. 3: 0-1
1 Wild Prediction
Dillon Stoner will complete a pass.
No matter who his offensive coordinator has been, OSU coach Mike Gundy has always made sure there are a few trick plays in the playbook for bowl games.
By the official statistics, Stoner is 0-for-1 passing this year, but he actually attempted another throw. Spencer Sanders was interfered with, so statistically, it went down as a penalty, not a pass. Here’s to Stoner making the third time a charm.
(Wild Prediction record: Season: 1-11; All-time, 3-35)