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OSU vs. Central Arkansas: Preview & Prediction

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Oklahoma State (1-0) will face Central Arkansas (0-1) on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. at Boone Pickens Stadium. Here's a preview to get you ready:

Schedule Someone Else

Central Arkansas isn’t a terrible football team, but Oklahoma State isn’t going to be any better for having taken the field. The Pokes will simply overpower UCA at every single position, so much so that it’ll be hard to evaluate the team’s execution and performance. 

The Bears are a middle-of-the-pack FCS team; which means they stand very little chance against an upper-tier Power Five program like Oklahoma State. If OSU really wants to schedule an FCS squad, go get one that can at least play a little on this level. North Dakota State, Montana, Northern Iowa, Eastern Washington, New Hampshire, Sam Houston State – the list goes on, but not much farther. 

Let Central Arkansas go play a solid mid-major, such as Arkansas State, or even a not-so-hot Power Five program like Texas Tech.

Bears Moving Backward

In last week’s 45-16 loss at Samford, the Bears committed 12 penalties for 183 yards. They also rushed for 119 yards. So when you combine penalty yards with rush yards, the Bears netted a whopping -64. 

Did I mention that this was against Samford?

Keep It Simple

OSU’s hyped-up offense struggled to hit its stride against Central Michigan last Thursday. Part of that was CMU’s defense playing well, but for the Cowboys to have rushed for only 153 yards on 35 carries left something to be desired.

"It's about rhythm and we have to stay on the field longer,” offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich said. “We didn't do a good job of converting third downs into first downs. It was a missed throw here or bad ball there, but whatever the case may be it was good to see our guys comeback in the second half and finish strong."

Expect to see a heavy dose of the run on Saturday. Chris Carson and Rennie Childs should both eclipse the 100-yard mark, while freshman Jeff Carr should also see a solid workload. All eyes will be on OSU’s much-maligned offensive line in this one, where the Pokes’ hog mollies have no excuse against an inferior opponent.

“I think what's really important is to get better as the year progresses,” Yurcich said. “That's what the practices are for. The goal is to be constantly improving and working on it with good effort and good fundamentals.”

Improvement seems inevitable this week.

Welcome Home

OSU quarterback Mason Rudolph will make his home debut on Saturday. Rudolph started the final three games of last season (at Baylor, at OU and the Cactus Bowl) along with last Thursday’s season opener at CMU, but has yet to be greeted by the Boone Pickens faithful. 

“I think this is the first time he has played a home game in like, eight games,” OSU coach Mike Gundy said. “In high school, they played on the road during the playoffs and in the state championship game. Somebody on the Big 12 call this morning asked if he was excited. I'm sure he is.”

Prediction

While this won’t be as one-sided as the Savannah State game from 2012, but it’ll be close. OSU will likely finish with 500 yards of offense and get a lot of backups some burn.

OSU 42, Central Arkansas 6

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