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Rudolph Leads Cowboys In Home Debut

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STILLWATER -

Oklahoma State fans had to wait five total games and an entire offseason to finally watch Mason Rudolph play at Boone Pickens Stadium. He didn’t disappoint.

Rudolph tossed for a career high 401 yards and a pair of touchdowns to lead Oklahoma State (2-0) to a 32-8 win over Central Arkansas (0-2) on Saturday night.

OSU got off to a decent start with a 10-0 lead when Chris Carson got loose for a 21-yard score in the opening quarter. But things stalled quickly after that. In fact, Central Arkansas held the Pokes scoreless for the rest of the half.

Fortunately for the Cowboys’ underachieving offense, their buddies on the defensive side had things covered, holding UCA to zero points and 81 yards of offense.

OSU opened the second half with a bang when Rudolph found David Glidden for a 67-yard touchdown. Glidden only hauled in three balls on the night, but totaled 103 yards and a pair of scores. It looked like the Pokes were going to open things up, but back came the Bears.

UCA marched on a 10-play, 75-yard drive in just a little more than four minutes to get on the board. Quarterback Taylor Reed found Desmond Smith for a 39-yard score, and in the spirit of having nothing to lose, the Bears then succeeded on a two-point conversion to come within 17-8.

But it was all Pokes from there. OSU scored the game’s final 15 points and buried Central Arkansas’ dreams of a miracle comeback.

Despite the happy outcome, it wasn’t all rainbows and butterflies for the Cowboys. There’s still a lot to be concerned with moving forward. Specifically, OSU’s offensive line continued to struggle.  Central Arkansas, an FCS opponent with limited scholarships, held Oklahoma State to just 164 rushing yards on 35 carries, and many of those came in garbage time. In addition, OSU only had one run of 25 yards or more.  Rennie Childs led OSU with 50 yards while Carson ran for 42. That’s not going to get it done come Big 12 time.

One bright spot was kicker Ben Grogan’s bounce-back performance. After missing two field goal attempts last week at Central Michigan, Grogan nailed both of his kicks on Saturday. OSU will need a consistent Grogan to make big splashes in the Big 12 this season.

OSU is back in action next Saturday against UTSA (0-2). Kickoff is set for 2:30 p.m. at Boone Pickens Stadium.

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