Sanders helps No. 12 Oklahoma State beat Central Michigan

Brett Rojo-USA TODAY Sports
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STILLWATER, Okla. – Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy deflected credit when he reached a career milestone.

Spencer Sanders passed for a career-high 406 yards and accounted for six touchdowns and No. 12 Oklahoma State beat Central Michigan 58-44 on Thursday night to give Gundy his 150th coaching victory.

Gundy improved to 150-69 in his 18th season coaching his alma mater.

“Cool deal,” he said. “Like I told the team, it takes a lot of really, really quality people and good young men for a guy to stay in one place long enough to win 150 games. I’m just lucky enough to be along for the ride.”

Sanders matched a career high with four touchdown passes and set a career mark with two rushing scores in the opener for both teams.

“Knock on wood, he’s really good,” Gundy said. “He understands our concepts. He understands second nature where to go with the ball. And it’s a big advantage for us.”

Braydon Johnson had career highs of six catches for 133 yards and Brennan Presley added five catches for 83 yards.

Daniel Richardson passed for a career-high 424 yards and threw four touchdown passes for Central Michigan. Lew Nichols III, the nation’s leading rusher last year, ran for 72 yards and two touchdowns on 26 carries.

Sanders passed for 313 yards and three touchdowns in the first half and ran for two more scores to help the Cowboys take a 44-15 lead.

The Cowboys led 51-15 less than a minute into the third quarter before Central Michigan climbed back into the game. Jalen McGaughy‘s 54-yard touchdown pass from Richardson cut it to 58-44 with 3:15 remaining. McGaughy had six catches for 126 yards and two scores.

“As I said from the beginning, I really like our football team,” Central Michigan coach Jim McElwain said. “We’re going to win a lot of games. And those kids are going to learn from this video and we’re going to get a little bit better.”

Central Michigan outscored Oklahoma State 29-14 in the second half and outgained the Cowboys 281 yards to 138 after the break.

“It’s credit to those kids,” McElwain said. “Since we’ve been here and started to establish the program, there’s a certain mentality it takes to be a Chippewa. And these guys have started to understand a little bit what that is.”

THE TAKEAWAY

Central Michigan: The Chippewas came in with high hopes after going 9-4 last season and beating Washington State in the Sun Bowl. But Sanders was too much for them early, and they couldn’t get their running game going well enough to control the clock and slow his rhythm.

Oklahoma State: The defense carried much of the load last season, but the offense put up 531 total yards on Thursday, mostly in the first half. The running game still could use some work, though. The Cowboys had just 45 yards on 20 carries in the second half and struggled to put the game away.

“We were very effective playing fast,” Gundy said. “And one thing that works against us a little bit is once you get ahead … obviously, you don’t want to play fast. So then you slow down, and we’re probably not as good at that as we are playing fast. But I was pleased with our ability to play fast and make plays in space.”

POLL IMPLICATIONS

Oklahoma State could get penalized for being sluggish in the second half, depending on what else happens in the upcoming days.

GUNNAR PLAYS

Redshirt freshman Gunnar Gundy, Mike Gundy’s son, got action in the opener for the Cowboys. He did not attempt a pass, but he carried once for five yards.

The younger Gundy, a walk-on, has risen to No. 2 on the depth chart.

“This is a big deal … Everybody wants to see their kids do good and get out there,” coach Gundy said. “I was proud of him.”

NICHOLS SLOWED

Nichols rushed for 1,848 yards last season and ran for at least 100 yards his final eight games. His streak ended as he averaged just 2.8 yards per carry on Thursday.

QUOTABLE

McElwain joking about Bullet, the horse that runs onto the field after Oklahoma State’s touchdowns: “When they scored 30 in a row, I was probably more concerned with that damn horse cramping up that kept running around the end zone there.”

UP NEXT

Central Michigan: Hosts South Alabama on Saturday, Sept. 10.

Oklahoma State: Hosts Arizona State on Saturday, Sept. 10.

Clemson gives raises, contract extensions to staff

Ken Ruinard/USA TODAY NETWORK
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CLEMSON, S.C. — Clemson’s board of trustees approved raises for special teams coordinator and cornerbacks coach Mike Reed and defensive tackles coach Nick Eason.

Reed and Eason also received one-year extensions keeping them tied to the Tigers through Jan. 31, 2026.

Reed, who’s been with the Tigers since 2013, had his yearly salary increased $50,000 to $800,000. Eason, the former Clemson standout defensive lineman, joined the staff this past season. He also had his compensation upped by $50,000 to $800,000.

Seven other assistants were given one-year extensions by the trustees’ compensation committee, but without a raise in salary.

Co-defensive coordinators Wes Goodwin and Mickey Conn had their contracts extended through Jan. 31, 2026.

Defensive ends coach Lemanski Hall, tight ends coach Kyle Richardson, offensive line coach Thomas Austin, running backs coach C.J. Spiller and wide receivers coach Tyler Grisham all got one-year extensions through Jan. 31, 2025.

New offensive coordinator Garrett Riley last month received a three-year contract at $1.75 million per season.

Clemson will pay its 10 on-field assistants $7.475 million this season, an increase of $925,000 from the total for 2022.

The Tigers went 11-3 last season, winning the Atlantic Coast Conference title for the seventh time in the past eight seasons.

South Carolina’s Beamer suspends three freshmen from program

south carolina basketball
Corey Perrine/USA TODAY NETWORK
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COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina coach Shane Beamer said freshmen Monteque Rhames II, Anthony Rose and Cameron Upshaw were suspended from the football program.

There was no reason given for the suspensions in the school’s statement Friday. Online records showed Rhames, 18, was booked last night and was being held at the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center on charges of carrying weapons on school property and obstructing justice.

“Our student-athletes know what is expected of them,” Beamer said. “They know that both the university and the football program will hold them accountable for their actions and decisions.”

None of the three have played for the Gamecocks.

Rose is a 6-foot-1, 190-pound defensive back from Miami who enrolled in January 2022 and redshirted this season. Rhames and Upshaw were part of South Carolina’s latest recruiting class and enrolled last month.

Rhames is a 6-5, 235-pound defensive lineman from Sumter and Upshaw is a 6-2, 193-pound safety from Perry, Florida.