STILLWATER — Waves of snow flew into the face of Garehtte Casper as he neared the top of Boone Pickens Stadium.
Armed with a leaf blower, and bundled against the cold, Casper was one of about two dozen university employees busy at work Friday, trying to empty the stadium of snow drifts in advance of today's Bedlam game.
“Our motto today is every row, every step,” Casper, 26, of Clinton, said after having just finished clearing a section of aisles and stairwells. “In a 60,000 seat stadium that's a lotta rows and a lotta steps.”
Twenty-four hours before Saturday's 11 a.m. kickoff, Stillwater and Oklahoma State University were scrambling to prepare for the surge of football fans headed their way for the annual game with the rival Oklahoma Sooners.
In the stands, workers wrangled the snow to the bleachers' edge and onto a sidewalk below, where it was trucked away. Others swarmed over the playing surface trying to clear it as best as possible in time for Saturday's contest between the two nationally-ranked football programs.
Tractors pushed snow from the field into a giant pile that nearly reached the bottom of the goal posts and took up half the west end zone. There, backhoes removed the pile, bucket by bucket. Meanwhile, small carts mounted with giant blow dryers combed up and down the field attempting to dry out the surface.
The athletic department also took to Twitter to enlist student volunteers to grab a shovel. Even the Oklahoma State band was asked to lend a hand, facilities coordinator Debbie McCarthy said.
“It's such a huge area that we need everybody's help,” she said.