John Holcomb: All Smiles For Ollie, Alan After Cowboys' Bowl Win

Sports Director John Holcomb recalls a pair of interesting elevator conversations -- one before Wednesday night's Texas Bowl win for the Cowboys, and one after.

Thursday, December 28th 2023, 3:23 pm


It didn’t guarantee the Cowboys would beat a somewhat depleted Texas A&M but it was kind of cool. When I arrived at the hotel on Tuesday I was joined in the elevator by none other than Ollie Gordon II, just us sharing a brief conversation about his Christmas Eve social media video announcing his plans to play in Stillwater again in 2024. 

Gordon’s trademark smile in that exchange was replaced by his fiery, sometimes excessive reaction to “extra-curricular” tactics by the Aggie defense in the Texas Bowl. The Doak Walker award winner even earned a personal foul penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct at one point. The A&M defense was solely focused on shutting down and frustrating the nation’s leading rusher, but he still managed 118 yards and a touchdown in OSU’s 31-23 win.

Afterward Gordon told reporters that the Heisman Trophy needs to return to Stillwater next season.

To counter the Aggies’ scheme, the Cowboys utilized other weapons. Alan Bowman found receivers Brennan Presley and Texas Bowl MVP Rashod Owens early and often. The two combined for 26 catches and more than 300 yards with Owens getting into the end zone twice.

The win and the award was especially sweet for Owens, who has fought his way up the depth chart playing whatever receiver position was required to become a reliable target in OSU’s emergence this season. Presley’s 16 catches tied a single game school record that dates back to Alex Loyd in 1949, and somewhat fittingly, on one play Presley completed a pass to Owens for a big gain.

The Cowboys probably wouldn’t be celebrating an 8th 10-win season under Mike Gundy without quarterback Alan Bowman. His 402 passing yards are an OSU bowl game record, and he could end up with a 7th season of eligibility if the NCAA grants him a waiver. That decision is expected within three weeks.

And that brings us to the last trip up the elevator at the hotel, when Bowman and I shared a short ride. His satisfaction on completing a compelling season was evident, with hopes of one more run with the Cowboys in the fall.

And just like with Ollie, it was all smiles.


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