Based on history, Saturday should be a good day for Oklahoma State fans.
OSU’s streak of 23 consecutive home opener victories is the longest in program history. It will look to extend the streak to 24 when it hosts McNeese State at 6 p.m. Saturday. This is the second consecutive week OSU will be playing a team for the first time.
Oklahoma State had a solid season debut at Oregon State. Running back Chuba Hubbard rushed for a career-high 221 yards and three touchdowns last week in the 52-36 win, but he said that’s in the past now.
“I’m over Oregon State and last week,” Hubbard said. “They’re a great opponent, but I’m onto McNeese now.”
Quarterback Spencer Sanders rushed for 109 yards and was sacked only once at Oregon State. Sanders and Dru Brown, if he plays this week, will need to keep an eye on defensive end Chris Livings.
Livings averaged one sack per game in the eight games he played last season. He kept that average going by tallying a sack in the season-opening 34-28 win against Southern.
Livings has 21.5 career sacks heading into Saturday.
Chasing Sanders in the backfield isn’t the only problem Livings and the McNeese defense are going to have.
“I feel like it is really hard to defend,” Sanders said about the OSU offense. “You have to defend the pass, you have to defend Chuba (Hubbard) and you have to defend the quarterback run. I feel like, at Oklahoma State, we bring a big threat to a lot of defenses. As long as we keep working as a team like we did last week, we will be in great shape.”
Holding on to the ball is going to be a key factor for OSU. McNeese State recovered five fumbles in its first game.
“They’re based on defense up to this point,” OSU coach Mike Gundy said. “They want to get lined up, play hard and run the ball is what it looks like.”
Gundy also referenced McNeese State’s balanced offensive attack. McNeese rushed for 154 yards and passed for 149 in Week 1.
“They are trying to be balanced on offense,” Gundy said. “We will get a game plan in for them in all three phases of the game. We need to get better at what we do. That will make me feel a lot better if we can continue to improve in the basic fundamentals and the discipline of us being a smart football team. That would do a lot for me this Saturday.”