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Enemy Intro: Previewing the First Leg of OSU’s 2022 Football Schedule

Central Michigan comes in on a five-game win streak.

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[Devin Wilber/PFB]

The start of Oklahoma State is still nearly five months away, but who’s counting?

While Cowboy coaches are focused intently on sorting out spring depth charts and seeing what they have in a bevy of newcomers, it’s not too early for us to look ahead at OSU’s fall schedule. September will be here before we know it.

The first leg of Oklahoma State’s slate includes three nonconference opponents all making the trip to Stillwater. Here’s Part 1 of our schedule preview.

Week 1: Central Michigan | Sept. 1 | Stillwater, Okla.

Series history: 1-?

The Cowboys and Chippewas split their two meetings in 2015 and 2016 with the home team falling in each. The 2016 edition ended with one of the craziest finishes in college football history thanks to a (somehow) unexpected penalty and a Hail Mary play that never should have been.

CMU in 2021: The Chippewas will be coming off of their best finish since 2009 and their first bowl win in a decade in Year 3 under head coach Jim McElwain. CMU is riding a five-game win streak.

CMU in 2022: The Chippewas return a pair of potential stars on offense with quarterback Daniel Richardson and running back Lew Nicholls III (the FBS rushing leader) both returning after impressive freshman seasons.

Thought on CMU: The Cowboys can at least partially exorcise that asterisk demon in their season opener but this game’s got all kinds of weird vibes to me. Maybe it’s PTSD. I’m still predicting a Cowboy victory but this might be their toughest noncon test this fall and it comes in Week 1.

Week 2: Arizona State | Sept. 10 | Stillwater, Okla.

Series (ancient) history: 1-2

The Cowboys and Sun Devils have met just three times with the latest coming in a 12-10 loss at ASU in 1993. The Cowboys also lost at home to the Sun Devils 30-3 in 1991.

The Pokes’ only win in the series was in 1984 when an unranked Oklahoma State beat No. 12 Arizona State 45-3. In Pat Jones’ first game as the Cowboys’ head coach, OSU tailbacks Charles Crawford (137) and Shawn Jones (101) each hit triple digits and OSU’s defense caused four interceptions.

ASU in 2021: The Sun Devils finished 8-5 overall and third in the Pac-12 South in 2021. In his four years at the helm, Herm Edwards has coached ASU to finishes of 7-6, 8-5, 2-2 (COVID-shortened season) and 8-5.

ASU in 2022: Last year’s 3-4 finish and a recruiting scandal led to a slew of coaching changes under Edwards and the Sun Devils lost QB Jayden Daniels. So Edwards enters 2022 with a bit more heat under his seat and he’ll have to navigate that after losing a productive three-year starter behind center and reinstalling a new offense.

Thought on ASU: The Sun Devils look like a mess this fall and the Cowboys should be able to take advantage for another tick in the W column.

Week 3: Arkansas-Pine Bluff | Sept. 17 | Stillwater, Okla.

Series history: 0-0

This will be the first meeting between the Cowboys and the FCS school.

UAPB in 2021: The Golden Lions dropped off in the second season under head coach Doc Gamble. UAPB went 4-1 in the COVID-shortened 2020, posting a perfect conference record and earning a Southwestern Athletic Conference title, but the Golden Lions finished 2-9 in 2021 and 1-7 in conference play.

UAPB in 2022: This offseason, Gamble brought in former Savannah State defensive coordinator Thomas Sims to help right a defensive ship that had plenty of leaks in 2021. The Golden Lions ranked 110th in the FCS, allowing 38 points per game last year.

Thought on UAPB: Mike Gundy is 12-0 all-time against FCS schools and I don’t see that streak ending in 2022.

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