Central Arkansas (0-0) at Oklahoma State (0-0), 6 p.m. CT (Big 12 Now on ESPN+)
Line: No line, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.
Series record: Oklahoma State leads 1-0.
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
Having not yet named a starting quarterback to fill the void after four-year starter Spencer Sanders transferred to Mississippi, Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy is hoping to gain clarity. He says he’ll play “multiple” QBs in the season opener against Football Championship Subdivision foe Central Arkansas. Coming off a 7-6 season during which the Cowboys barely extended their streak of winning seasons and bowl appearances to 17, they would like one of the trio of Alan Bowman, Garrett Rangel or Gunnar Gundy to seize the reins and invigorate what was at times a stagnant offense last season. The Cowboys also would like to look at some of the more than 50 new players in the program before hitting the Power 5 road to face Arizona State a week later. Central Arkansas was picked to finish second in the preseason poll of coaches in the new United Athletic Conference, behind Eastern Kentucky.
Oklahoma State has been touted as improved defensively and the Cowboys will face an explosive FCS offensive backfield led by a trio of running backs – Darius Hale, Kylin James and ShunDerrick Powell – who combined for 3,116 yards and 31 rushing touchdowns last season for the Bears. Leading Oklahoma State’s unit will be the two most recent Big 12 Conference defensive freshmen of the year – linebacker Collin Oliver (2021) and safety Kendal Daniels (2022).
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Oklahoma State: WR Brennan Presley is the top returning receiver for a program that’s become well-known under Mike Gundy for its propensity to throw the football. Presley finished last season with 67 catches for 813 yards, leading the Cowboys in both categories.
Central Arkansas: DE David Walker was named to six FCS All-America teams after last season, including The Associated Press team. Walker was one of three finalists for the Buck Buchanan Award – given to the most outstanding defensive player in FCS -– as a sophomore.
FACTS & FIGURES
Oklahoma State is one of only four Football Bowl Subdivision teams to post a winning season every season from 2010 to 2022, joining Alabama, Boise State and Wisconsin. … Central Arkansas is 3-16 against FBS teams since moving up to NCAA Division I FCS in 2006, with wins over Arkansas State in 2016 and Western Kentucky in 2009 and 2019. … Oklahoma State has won 27 consecutive home openers, the longest such streak in school history … Central Arkansas is receiving votes in both the STATS and AFCA preseason FCS polls.
More AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-football-poll