Oklahoma State opened the year with a bang, crushing Southeast Louisiana 61-7 in Stillwater Saturday.
Next up, the Cowboys host Central Michigan at 11 a.m. in Stillwater. Last year, the Chippewas made the Cowboys work to escape with a 24-13 win in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan.
Central Michigan had no trouble in its opener, smashing Presbyterian 49-3 at home.
The Chippewas say they are ready to play OSU.
“We’re thinking we’re going to go down there and beat them,” said Central Michigan running back Cooper Rush. “No one ever goes into a game thinking they’re going to lose, especially not us.”
Devon Spalding ran for 135 yards and Jahray Hayes scored a career-high three rushing touchdowns as the Chippewas finished with 255 yards on the ground, their highest total in a 16-game stretch dating to a 38-7 win over Eastern Michigan on Nov. 1, 2014.
“Obviously there are a lot of things we would like to do better,” said Coach John Bonamego, who is beginning his second season in charge of the Chippewas program. “Our defense was stellar, we’re right where we hoped we would be. Offensively we just hurt ourselves with penalties and were a bit sloppy at times.
“I talked to them at halftime and they looked better but there is plenty to address. We can’t win when we turn the ball over and make mistakes and have penalties in tight games down the stretch. We’re going to have to play better and we will. The good thing about this group is that they responded in the second half the way that we hoped they would.”
The OSU/Southeastern Louisiana game was the first for USL offensive coordinator Matt Barrett, who came from Georgia Southern. The Lion offense got only 194 yards against OSU.
The majority of OSU’s starters, including quarterback Mason Rudolph, were taken out with just under 10 minutes left in the second quarter.
The Cowboys had outstanding starting field position throughout the game, with seven drives starting in SLU territory, four of those starting in the red zone. Of OSU’s eight scoring drives, five lasted less than two minutes.
Chris Carson scored OSU’s first offensive touchdown on a 14-yard rush in the first quarter. It was his fifth-career rushing touchdown.
Jhajuan Seales caught a 24-yard touchdown pass from Rudolph on the following drive. He added a 16-yard touchdown grab in the third quarter for his ninth and 10th career touchdown receptions.
In the first quarter of his first game at OSU, Barry J. Sanders scored on a 1-yard rush. It was his second offensive touch and immediately followed an 18-yard reception on his first offensive touch. His next touch was a 57-yard punt return that was ruled just short of the end zone. Sanders is the son of former Oklahoma State Heisman Trophy winner and NFL Hall of Fame running back Barry Sanders.
OSU scored 28 points in the opening quarter, marking the most since the Cowboys put up 28 points in the fourth quarter at Texas Tech last season.
Devante Averette forced and recovered a fumble on SLU’s opening drive of the second half. He lateralled to Ramon Richards, who then ran into the end zone for OSU’s second non-offensive touchdown of the game.
That play marked the first time since OSU’s win over UTSA last year that the Cowboys returned multiple fumbles for touchdowns.
Vincent Taylor’s blocked field goal in the third quarter was the second block of his career.
Jarrell Owens recorded his fourth-career sack to end an SLU drive in the third quarter.
Jeff Carr scored his second career rushing touchdown and fourth total touchdown in the third quarter.
In his third-career game, backup quarterback Taylor Cornelius recorded the first touchdown of his career on a five-yard scoring run in the fourth quarter. He finished with 28 rushing yards on six carries.