Oklahoma State football

Oklahoma State is headed to the Texas Bowl. MATT BARNARD/Tulsa World file

STILLWATER — Oklahoma State will be playing in the Texas Bowl for the first time in the Gundy era.

It was announced on Sunday that the Cowboys will travel to Houston to play Texas A&M at 5:45 p.m. Dec. 27 in NRG Stadium. The Cowboys defeated Southern Miss 33-23 in the Houston Bowl in 2002.

“We’re really excited to participate in the Texas Bowl,” OSU coach Mike Gundy said. “We’ve got a number of players on our team, I think it’s close to 65 right now, that are from the state of Texas, all the way down to the Houston area.”

This will be the third time in nine years the Aggies have played in the Texas Bowl. They beat Northwestern 33-22 in 2011 and lost 33-28 to Kansas State in the 2016 game.

The Texas Bowl will be the first time Oklahoma State and Texas A&M have faced each other since the Cowboys beat the Aggies 30-29 in 2011. The Cowboys used to play against Texas A&M each year when the Aggies were a member of the Big 12 Conference before leaving for the SEC after the 2011 season. Gundy called Texas A&M the best 7-5 team in the history of the NCAA after losing to three No. 1-ranked teams, a No. 4-ranked team and a No. 8-ranked team.

“They’re definitely a top 20 team,” Gundy said. “I haven’t started watching tape on them. I’ve watched them on TV a couple of times. I know that they’re very athletic. I know that their quarterback is the third-rated quarterback in the SEC.”

The team representing the Big 12 Conference has won the past three Texas Bowls. The Cowboys were No. 25 in the final College Football Playoff rankings and a win against Texas A&M would give OSU a 9-4 record, two wins better than last season’s 7-6 record.

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Frank joined Tulsa World as the Oklahoma State University sports writer in June 2019. He is an Indiana native who attended graduate school at IUPUI after receiving his bachelor’s degree at Indiana University. 918-581-8387