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2016 Opponent Previews: Central Michigan University Chippewas

Can OSU clear the Chippewas?

Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Leading up to the start of the 2016 football campaign, we will be previewing each opponent the Pokes will face this season. We've previewed OSU's Week 1 opponent in Southeastern Louisiana, which you can find here. In Week 2, the Cowboys will play host to Central Michigan University. The Cowboys opened the 2015 season with a comeback victory in Chippewa country. Here's what you need to know about the rematch.

When: September 10 at 11:00 a.m. CST

Where: Boone Pickens Stadium

Watch/Listen: Fox Sports 1, Cowboy Radio Network

Last year:

The Chippewas went 7-6 (6-2 in conference) and made it to their second straight bowl. They ended the season with a 21-14 loss to Minnesota in the Quick Lane Bowl.

CMU enters its second season under alumnus and long-time NFL staffer, John Bonamego.

Who to watch for:

Senior safety Tony Annese is the Chippewas leading returning tackler (84 total in 2015) and is on the Jim Thorpe preseason watch list.

Senior QB Cooper Rush made Cowboy fans nervous in one of his worst games last year. He ended the game with 225 yards, an interception and a rushing touchdown.

Rush ended the season with 3,848 passing yards, 25 touchdowns and 11 interceptions, along with three rushing TD's. The Cowboys can't afford to take this four-year starter lightly.

Last meeting:

The Chippewas held a third quarter lead when they hosted Oklahoma State in last year's season opener before the Cowboys finished the game 14-0 to escape what would have been the first Power 5 loss at Central Michigan in the last 20 years.

What we will learn:

You really want to see continued improvement up front and in the run game on offense. On defense, this will be a chance for guys like Jordan Brailford, Jarrell Owens and Tralund Webber to get some practice with a sneaky mobile QB, as they try to fill the enormous footprints left by Emmanuel Ogbah and Jimmy Bean.

Prediction: OSU 52 - CMU 21

The Cowboys are all in at this point. They remember having to come back last year and should be ready to prove a point. With Pitt coming up, you want to be firing on all cylinders on both sides of the ball.