After opening the season with a pair of victories McNeese and Oklahoma State are set for a Clash of the Cowboys in Stillwater on Saturday. It’ll be the first time the two schools have faced each other in football but McNeese does have an 0-5 record against Big 12 programs. Here’s ten thing you need to know about Saturday night’s match-up.
1. A Tradition Of Winning
The Cowboys have won 23 consecutive home openers for the longest such streak in school history. Oklahoma State’s all-time record in home openers is 84-28-5.
OSU has won 43 of their past 49 home openers, and have outscored opponents, 708-206, in home openers during the Mike Gundy era for an average score of 51-15.
2. Riding Into Town On A Winning Streak
McNeese won its eighth straight game when opening up the season with a 34-28 win over Southern at home. It was also the 15th consecutive win in a home opener for the Cowboys.
3. Taking Notice
Although the Cowboys are not currently ranked, they have reached the top 15 of the AP poll at some point in 10 of the past 11 seasons. Oklahoma State has also seen a top 10 ranking in the AP poll at some point in eight of the past 11 seasons.
4. Applying Pressure
McNeese senior defensive end Chris Livings will get a shot to make history this season by setting the school’s all-time sacks record. Livings will enter Saturday’s game ranked fourth all-time with 21.5 sacks, needing 9.5 more to match the record held by Bryan Smith (2004-07) and 10 more to break it. Livings recorded eight sacks in 2018 to match a season-best for him (2016).
5. The Spencer Sanders Era Is Here!
Freshman quarterback Spencer Sanders got his first career start last week and made the most of it. He finished 19-for-24 passing (79.2%) for 203 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions for a 191.5 efficiency rating.
In addition he added 109 rushing yards on 13 carries (8.4 yards per carry). His performance against Oregon State ranked No. 7 nationally in week one according to the ESPN QBR metric.
6. Not The Only One Receiving Votes
McNeese is receiving votes in both the STATS and AFCA Coaches polls for the second straight week. The Cowboys ranked in the top 25 all last season, reaching as high as No. 6 after starting out to a 5-1 mark. But a 1-4 record to end the season dropped the Cowboys out of the poll in the final ranking of the year and snapped a streak of 19 straight weeks of being listed.
7. Playmakers Everywhere!
Running back Chuba Hubbard and wide receiver Tylan Wallace also produced big performances in Corvallis last week. Hubbard set a career high with 221 rushing yards and leads the FBS in rushing yards after Week 1. Wallace finished with 92 receiving yards and two touchdowns to mark his third multi-touchdown game in the last five games.
8. Man Down!
Preseason first team all-conference corner Colby Burton suffered a lower leg injury early in the game against Southern. He will miss the rest of the season for McNeese but will be able to take a redshirt and return in 2020.
9. No Signs Of Slowing Down
In the past nine seasons, Oklahoma State has finished among the top four nationally in total offense four times, including being ranked No. 2 nationally in 2017 and No. 10 nationally last season. Mike Gundy’s teams have finished among the top 16 nationally in total offense nine times during his 14 seasons as head coach.
10. Wait…That Name Sounds Familiar
Junior quarterback Cody Orgeron was named as the starter for McNeese after spring practice. He is the son of LSU head coach Ed Orgeron.
Despite not playing organized football until his senior year of high school, Orgeron started three games last season and led the Cowboys to an upset win over Central Arkansas in his very first start. In that game he completed 13 of 21 passes for 135 yards while also running for 16 yards with a touchdown, and even caught a pass for 11 yards.
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