Then about a half an hour before kickoff, Boone Pickens' face came onto the jumbotrons. The screens replayed a video statement that the OSU megabooster made earlier this week in response to the SI report.
His favorite word: disappointed.
When he said it on the video, a huge cheer went up from the crowd inside the stadium.
When the Cowboys took the field, they carried a similar energy. They said they weren't any more motivated that normal to play well. They insisted they didn't approach the game any different.
But it would be hard not to feel like you wanted to play as well as you possibly could after a week like this.
“We haven't had a home game for a very long time,” Walsh said, alluding to the fact that the Cowboys played their last five games, even dating back to last season, away from home. “I think a lot of guys wanted to come out and play well for the home crowd.”
And the Cowboys did — to a point. Their focus waned after halftime, and it was hard to blame them for that. They got out to a big lead, they recognized that they had Lamar outmatched, and they had a long week watching one report after another come out about their program.
It's easy to see why they'd have a bit of a let down.
Still, they won by eight touchdowns.
And when all was said and done, the Cowboys stood in front of the student section and sang the alma mater. Several players then jumped up on the wall in front of the students to celebrate with them.
Walsh was one of those players.
A student near him tried to hand him a wad of fake hundred dollar bills with SI reporter Thayer Evans' face on them. Walsh pushed them away, then pushed them away again until the student playfully stuck them in his hand.
After Walsh hopped down from the wall, he smiled as he gave the bills back to students in the front row.
Maybe everyone in orange needed a little levity after this week. Maybe everyone needed a smile.
Jenni Carlson: Jenni can be reached at (405) 475-4125. Like her at facebook.com/JenniCarlsonOK, follow her at twitter.com/jennicarlson_ok or view her personality page at newsok.com/jennicarlson.