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Cowboys Close Strong, Beat Central Michigan 24-13

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Oklahoma State's football team played a strong second half to beat Central Michigan 24-13 in the season opener for both teams in Mount Pleasant, Michigan.

After being forced to punt on the opening possession, OSU quickly got the ball back, as Tre Flowers intercepted CMU quarterback Cooper Rush.

The Cowboys settled for a 22-yard field goal from Ben Grogan and led 3-0.

Central Michigan responded with a 14-play drive, highlighted by a 22-yard run from Rush, which set up a 31-yard field goal by Brian Eavey to tie the game 3-3 with 2:51 to play in the first quarter.

OSU went three downs and had to punt, but then forced the Chippewas to punt after just three downs and a loss of two yards.

The Cowboys marched to their first touchdown of the season early in the second quarter.

After being stopped on 3rd and goal from the CMU 1-yard line, OSU got another chance when the Chippewas were called for an illegal substitution.

The Cowboys took advantage, as J.W. Walsh came in for Mason Rudolph at quarterback, and kept on a 1-yard run for the touchdown and a 10-3 OSU lead with 13:20 to play in the second quarter.

The two teams exchanged punts the rest of the half, until Central Michigan used a pair of 20-yard pass plays to set up a 26-yard field goal by Eavey to cut the Cowboys' lead to 10-6 with 20 seconds left in the first half.

OSU's 10-6 halftime lead didn't last long, however, as Central Michigan marched 75 yards in 7 plays, with Cooper Rush scoring on a 16-yard touchdown run to give the Chippewas their first lead, 13-10 with 11:17 to play in the third quarter.

It took Oklahoma State less than two minutes to answer.

Rudolph found David Glidden for gains of 20 and 26 yards, then scrambled for a 21-yard touchdown to put the Cowboys back on top 17-13, with 9:38 to play in the third quarter.

Rudolph's touchdown was his first rushing score in college, and it capped a 74 yard drive in just five plays.

It looked like OSU would score again on their next drive, with Rudolph passing to Chris Carson for 23, and Rennie Childs running for a gain of 26.

The drive bogged down, though, and Ben Grogan missed a 42-yard field goal wide left, keeping the score 17-13 OSU.

On Oklahoma State's first drive of the fourth quarter the Cowboys added to their lead, with Rudolph passing to Marcell Ateman for an 18-yard touchdown to make it 24-13 Cowboys with 9:20 to play in the game.

Rudolph was 22 of 32 passing for 266 yards.

Ateman caught four passes for 75 yards, while Chris Carson finished with 89 yards rushing on 21 carries.

OSU had a chance to extend the lead, but Grogan missed a 26-yard field goal attempt wide left with just over a minute to play.

The Cowboys improved to 9-2 in season openers under head coach Mike Gundy.