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Oklahoma State walked into Mt Pleasant, MI, heavy favorites, but are walking out breathing a sigh of relief. It’s wasn’t pretty, but a win is a win. Blame it on the rain before the game. Blame it on playing on Thursday, or blame it on playing far from home, but Oklahoma State has a lot to work on.

Game Stats

Oklahoma State Central Michigan
1st Downs 19 18
3rd Down Eff 6-14 (43%) 8-18 (44%)
4th Down Eff 0-0 0-0
Total Yards 419 343
Passing Yds 266 265
Pass Comp % 22-32 (69%) 29-42 (69%)
Yds Per Pass 7.8 5.8
Rushing Yds 153 78
Rush Att 35 28
Yds Per Rush 4.4 2.8
Penalties 4-35 6-30
Turnovers 0 1
Fumbles lost 0 0
Picks Thrown 0 1
Final Score 24 13
1st Qtr 3 3
2nd Qtr 7 3
3rd Qtr 7 7
4th Qtr 7 0

 

Key Point In The Game

CMU came out in the second half and gut-checked the Cowboys with a 16-yard Cooper Rush touchdown to go up 13-10.  The turning point came when Oklahoma State drove down the field and answered right back with a QB keeper of their own when Mason Rudolph took off for a 21-yard touchdown. From that point on the Pokes controlled the game, and kept CMU off the scoreboard.

Positives For Oklahoma State

In Game Adjustments – The offense was as plain as it can get early, and the Cowboys struggled to get anywhere on the ground. In game adjustments was a concern in 2014, so Cowboys fans have to like seeing the Pokes come out in the third and open the play book some.

Improved Offensive Line – The offensive still has some work to do, but it was improved from last season.

Speed – The Cowboy defense is fast, and they fly to the ball. Now Gundy just has to get them to stop flying past the ball. Joking aside, with a little more discipline this defense could be scary.

Negatives For Oklahoma State

Predictable Play Calling – If you’ve watched Oklahoma State the last two seasons you knew exactly what they were going to do in the first half. CMU did their homework, and they were prepared for a Yurcich lead offense.

Tackling – The Cowboys aren’t going to win many Big 12 games if they don’t start wrapping guys up. Too many times the Cowboys could have gotten the stop had the first man wrapped up.

The Secondary – Oklahoma State has one of the deepest secondaries in the Big 12, but they certainly didn’t look it. They missed the presence of veteran corner Kevin Peterson as CMU receivers ran wild underneath the coverage.

What The Win Means For OSU

Ultimately not much other than avoided a devastating loss. This isn’t a win that’s going to catapult the Pokes into the top 25, and it obviously doesn’t change the Big 12 picture. The Cowboys were just outside of making the preseason polls, so if they do end up being ranked it will be more about who lost than this being an impressive win. Because it wasn’t.

Cowboy Players Of The Game

Marcell Ateman – The 6’4″ receiver was a man among boys out there, and he came up with big catches when the Pokes needed them most; including this beauty.

J.W. Walsh – Gundy told us there was a plan to use Walsh, and the senior leader provided a much-needed spark to the offense. There’s no QB controversy in Stillwater, but he adds a wrinkle that defense will have to prepare for.

Emptying The Notebook

It’s the first game of the season, so some of this lackluster performance needs to taken with a grain of salt. After a dismal 2014 though, you have to wonder if this game isn’t a little more telling. They won’t win many Big 12 games the way they played Thursday night.

What happened to Ben Grogan? He missed two very makeable field goals, and kept this game closer than it should have been. Hopefully he can brush it off, and get back to his 2014 form.

Ramon Richards had a game to forget. Getting trucked on the goal line by CMU quarterback Cooper Rush pretty much sums up his performance.

Punt returners always try to make a play, but True freshman Jalen McCleskey is going to give more than one OSU fan a heart attack if he doesn’t start putting his hand up a little more.

Rudolph looked good, not great, but good. His accuracy was off early, but decision-making was good, and he didn’t make mistakes.

Running back Chris Carson doesn’t quit. His legs will keep churning until he’s on the ground. Gundy and staff have to like what they saw out him.

 

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