The Texans will host the Raiders in the playoffs with a different quarterback than the one they played in Week 11 in Mexico City. Oakland will start either Matt McGloin or rookie Connor Cook, after Derek Carr underwent surgery to repair a broken fibula.
Bill O'Brien is familiar with both of the former Big Ten quarterbacks.
McGloin was entering his final season at Penn State when O'Brien arrived as head coach. The Scranton, Pennsylvania native was a former walk-on who impressed O'Brien in the Nittany Lions' spring practice.
"It was just obvious to me after about nine or 10 practices that this was the starting quarterback for that year," O'Brien said. "I think the guy is smart. I think he's accurate. I think he works very hard to improve. Look, the guy was fun to coach. He was a captain there. Those players on that 2012 team are a big part of why Penn State is where they are now and he was a big part of that. Then to have a shot to make it in the pros, I knew that it was going to be hard for any team to cut him. That's the type of kid he is."
O'Brien not only faced Cook in the Big Ten, but he also had a chance to meet with him at the NFL Combine earlier this year.
"Good player, tall, good arm strength, smart, won a lot of games in college so he's a winner," O'Brien said. "I think we interviewed him at the Combine, very bright kid, so obviously just from watching him the other day there, he can run a pro offense. I think he's very capable of doing that."
On Sunday against Denver, Cook saw his first NFL action when McGloin left with a shoulder injury. The fourth-round draft pick out of Michigan State entered the game late in the second quarter for the Raiders.
The Texans AFC Wild Card game against the Oakland Raiders will be the first career postseason appearance for both McGloin and Cook. Kickoff is scheduled for Saturday at 3:35 p.m. CT on ESPN/ABC and SportsRadio 610.
Texans fans showed up to watch their favorite team take on the Raiders in Mexico City.