COLLEGE FOOTBALL RECAP

Rudolph, defense boost Cowboys to 24-13 win

The Sports Xchange

September 03, 2015 at 11:17 pm.

Sep 3, 2015; Mount Pleasant, MI, USA;  Oklahoma State Cowboys quarterback Mason Rudolph (2) hands the ball off to running back Todd Mays (22) during the 1st quarter against the Central Michigan Chippewas at Kelly/Shorts Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Sep 3, 2015; Mount Pleasant, MI, USA; Oklahoma State Cowboys quarterback Mason Rudolph (2) hands the ball off to running back Todd Mays (22) during the 1st quarter against the Central Michigan Chippewas at Kelly/Shorts Stadium.  (Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports)

Mason Rudolph passed for 266 yards and one touchdown and also rushed for a score as the Oklahoma State Cowboys registered a 24-13 victory over the host Central Michigan Chippewas in the season opener for both squads.

Cowboys wide receiver Marcell Ateman grabbed his first career touchdown reception and backup quarterback J.W. Walsh rushed for a touchdown as Oklahoma State fended off the pesky Chippewas. Junior-college transfer running back Chris Carson rushed for 89 yards on 21 carries in his Oklahoma State debut.

Central Michigan quarterback Cooper Rush passed for 230 yards and rushed for a touchdown. Wide receiver Mark Chapman had six receptions for 72 yards but the Chippewas struggled on the ground as Rush had a career-best 51 of the club’s 78 rushing yards.

The Cowboys led by just four points entering the fourth quarter but created distance with a 12-play, 83-yard excursion. The drive was culminated by Ateman leaping above Emmitt Thomas to haul in an 18-yard scoring pass to make it 24-13 with 9:20 remaining.

Walsh scored on a 1-yard run for the lone first-half touchdown as the Cowboys led 10-6 at the break. The Chippewas moved ahead on Rush’s 16-yard run with 11:17 left in the third quarter before Rudolph scored on a 21-yard scamper to give Oklahoma State a 17-13 lead with 9:38 remaining in the third.

NOTES: QB Mason Rudolph was 13-of-18 passing for 165 yards in the second half. … First-year Central Michigan coach John Bonamego was diagnosed with tonsil cancer in mid-June and finished treatments on Aug. 21. … Oklahoma State played a MAC school for the first time since 1994 and improved to 5-0.