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Oklahoma State football: After Sports Illustrated series, Cowboys fans expecting home opener like none other

by Jenni Carlson Published: September 13, 2013

John Trebilcock hasn't been to an Oklahoma State football game since Bedlam 2011.

Back then, the Cowboy fan had a feeling that was a game he needed to attend.

He has the same feeling about Saturday's game.

“It's a game that you'd go to for a quarter usually,” Trebilcock said of the matchup against lowly Lamar, “but now, it's a can't-miss.

“Everyone who can will be there.”

At the end of a week when OSU faithful found their football program in the crosshairs of a Sports Illustrated investigation comes a much-needed football game. It will be a home opener like no other. It will be part pep rally, part family reunion, part group therapy session.

It will be an orange-tinted love fest.

Indications are that it's going to be a big one. As of Friday afternoon, OSU officials were anticipating a crowd of 58,200.

That would fall just short of the school's single-game record of 58,895 vs. Kansas State in 2011. Just short of a first-ever sellout, too (Capacity is 60,218).

Would it surprise anyone if the Cowboys got to that sellout number?

Not after this week.

Even though the SI investigation has come under fire — several holes have been punched in the accuracy of the reporting — the chance to gather with other Cowboy fans with be a strong draw Saturday.

“I have a feeling this Saturday will be more special than usual,” Cowboy fan Trevor Howerton said. “Poke fans will come together and rally around each other.”

Born and raised in Stillwater, Howerton has been an OSU fan since he was 6 or 7 years old and his granddad Ken took him to his first game. Barry Sanders was playing for the Cowboys.

It was electric.

Howerton was hooked.

Watching the SI investigation rolled out over four days has been tough. Howerton wants the school to clean up anything that's dirty, but at the same time, he's angered by what he sees as shoddy and biased reporting.

“To me, this (game) is a chance to show the nation OSU is not beaten down by this,” Howerton said.

He suspects Boone Pickens Stadium will be more electric than usual.

“Feel bad for Lamar,” he said.

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by Jenni Carlson
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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