Big 12 Previews

Oklahoma State vs. Central Michigan: Preview and Prediction

NCAA Football: Tulsa at Oklahoma State

Here is everything you need to know about the upcoming matchup between Oklahoma State and the Central Michigan Chippewas.

GAME INFO

Thursday, September 1, 2022; 6:00 p.m. CT; T. Boone Pickens Stadium; Stillwater, Oklahoma

TV: FS1 (Broadcast Crew TBA)

Radio: TBA

Records: Oklahoma State 0-0; Central Michigan 0-0

Rankings: Oklahoma State ranked No. 12 in Preseason AP Poll; Central Michigan unranked

Series History: Series tied 1-1

Last Meeting: Central Michigan 30, Oklahoma State 27 (2016)

Favorite: Oklahoma State (-21)

Fun Fact: The last time these two teams met, Central Michigan pulled off one of the most unlikely upsets in recent history on a last second Hail Mary that some contend should’ve never happened.

 

Key Players

Oklahoma State Cowboys

Spencer Sanders, Quarterback

Sanders is the most experienced signal-caller returning to the Big 12 in 2022 and will start in his fourth season opener as the Cowboys’ starting quarterback. Last season, Sanders threw for 2,839 with 20 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. Without a proven commodity at running back, Sanders will be a huge part of the game plan, especially in Week 1. A clean game from Sanders almost guarantees a win for the Cowboys.

Collin Oliver, Defensive Tackle

Collin Oliver might be one of the best defensive linemen in the Big 12 in 2022 and he will anchor what should be one of the two best defensive lines in the conference, alongside Baylor. His play, opposite three new starters for the Chippewas, will be key for Oklahoma State if they hope to keep this game from being interesting late into the second half.

 

Central Michigan Chippewas

Lew Nichols III, Running Back

Lew Nichols III lead all of college football last season with 1,848 yards and 16 touchdowns on 341 carries. He will continue to get volume as the Central Michigan offense will roll through Nichols in 2022 and if they can get the running game going against the Pokes early, it could lead to some issues. Shut down Nichols, and Oklahoma State runs away with this game.

Donte Kent, Safety

Kent is the top returning defender for CMU after breaking up 15 passes and recording one interception last year. Rolliann Sturkey returns as the other safety and gives the Chippewas an experienced duo in the backend. Unfortunately, there are tons of questions in the rest of the secondary and along the defensive line. Kent will be a key player in this contest, and his leadership will be vital if CMU is to have any success defensively.

 

Key Storylines

Oklahoma State Cowboys

Can Oklahoma State find a difference maker at running back before welcoming in Arizona State? Look, I know that this game brings up bad memories for Cowboy fans, but this team should be one of the better ones that the Big 12 has to offer. Central Michigan’s defensive line has major holes to fill, meaning that this should be a game where a running back emerges for OSU. Ollie Gordon and Dominic Richardson are the names making waves in fall camp, but one of them needs to become the guy like Jaylen Warren did last season.

Central Michigan Chippewas

Can Central Michigan hang around and make a move to win the game late? Oklahoma State is the better team across the board, as they were the last two times that these teams met. However, this Central Michigan team doesn’t have Cooper Rush and Tyler Conklin to lean on. If CMU is going to make this a game, it will be because Lew Nichols keeps the OSU defense on its toes.

Prediction: Oklahoma State 41, Central Michigan 23

I don’t see lightning striking twice for the Chippewas here as I think Oklahoma State distances itself in this game. It might not be a blowout as many expect, as I think there will be some new faces in important positions for the Pokes. Oklahoma State’s defensive line and experience at quarterback gives them a huge advantage in this game and I see this game being in hand early.

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