Oklahoma State vs. Central Michigan prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins the Week 2 matchup between the Cowboys and Chippewas.
Oklahoma State vs. Central Michigan Game Preview
This might as well be Oklahoma State’s season opener, given that Mike Gundy started resting his starters before the first half was even over last week. The Cowboys jumped out to a 28-0 lead in the first quarter, and pretty much coasted to a 61-7 victory over FCS Southeastern Louisiana.
Central Michigan equally dismantled Presbyterian in their opener. Devon Spalding ripped a 69-yard run on the game’s second play, and from there the Chippewas methodically piled on points until they had effectively pummeled the Blue Hose, 49-7.
What To Know About Oklahoma State
Mason Rudolph is one of the most underrated quarterbacks in the country, and he has plenty of weapons around him. Normally electric, James Washington had a pedestrian opener. No bother, though, since Jhajuan Seales racked up a 20 ypc average and two touchdowns. All in all, 14 Cowboys caught a pass against Southeastern Louisiana, while seven players accounted for positive rushing yards. Let’s just say that Gundy was trotting out all the toys for a test drive.
One of the team’s biggest question marks heading into the season was how the defensive line would perform after losing two stud defensive ends. After one game – albeit against a lesser opponent – all is well. The Pokes notched three sacks and 12 total tackles for a loss, all while presenting a consistent push into the backfield.
What to Know About Central Michigan
Everything revolves around the running game, and the three-headed attack of Jahray Hayes, Devon Spalding and Jonathan Ward. Spalding is the bell cow with home run ability. His 135 yards from last week were a tad misleading, given that 69 of those came on his first rush of the game. Hayes provides the power of the bunch and will deliver the body blows.
As a senior, Cooper Rush should have provided a steadier hand a the quarterback position. Somewhat obscured by the team’s lopsided victory is the fact that Rush threw two interceptions and was sacked three times.
Offense: Oklahoma State. Central Michigan will get the nod in most games this season, based on its running back stable alone, just not against one of the nation’s top offenses.
Defense: Oklahoma State. The Pokes were downright disruptive last week.
Special Teams: Oklahoma State. Barry Sanders Jr. can change the complexion of the game on any given punt.
Coaching: Oklahoma State. Mike Gundy is creeping up the list of best active coaches never to win a championship.
Intangibles: Central Michigan. This has a bit of a trap game feel, with the potential for Oklahoma State to be looking ahead to next week’s Pitt matchup.
Matchup To Watch
Cooper Rush vs. Oklahoma State defensive line
Rush will have to be somewhat serviceable for the Chippewas to have a shot in this game. Oklahoma State can score in a flurry, and if the Cowboys jump out to an early lead, more and more pressure will be directed from Central Michigan’s running backs to the passing game. Rush must prove that last week’s performance was little more than early-season jitters.
Spread: Oklahoma State -20
Oklahoma State vs. Central Michigan Prediction
Gundy won’t be resting his starters 20 minutes into this one, but it’ll still be a runaway. Central Michigan will try to control the clock, and eventually abandon the running game after falling behind by 14 early. The Chippewas will score some garbage-time points, but this one will never be in jeopardy for the Pokes.
Oklahoma State vs. Central Michigan Score Prediction: Oklahoma State 56, Central Michigan 21