Cowboys coach Mike Gundy didn't comment on the Sports Illustrated series, none of the Cowboys did. And questions about that topic weren't welcomed.
Still, Gundy and the players talked around the events of the week, which included an outpouring of support from former players.
“It doesn't surprise me that we have a number of people who want to be outspoken,” Gundy said. “That didn't surprise me at all.”
The importance of playing a game – any game – Saturday, wasn't lost on the Cowboys.
And with a welcoming crowd that was the largest in Boone Pickens Stadium history at 59,061, the mood was right.
“All the guys were anxious to come out,” said Cowboys linebacker Caleb Lavey. “Even in The Walk, it's hard not to get excited when you've got all the fans cheering for you. It's just a great environment.
“It was easy to get excited. I was just ready to get on the field. And once we did, it was very easy to play to the crowd.”
Beyond the heavy news of the week, the Cowboys were playing their first home game since last November. OSU closed the 2012 season with three games away from home, then played their first two this season in the state of Texas.
“It was good to be back here,” Lavey said. “It was loud in the first half. Then the seats started to get a little empty. But it was awesome. It was good to be home.
“The defense especially gets to play to the emotions of the crowd. So it was a lot of fun. It was good being home.”
COWBOYS GET TIME OFF
Following a 3-0 start, OSU enters an open week on the schedule, before another road game at West Virginia on Sept. 28.
“I think the bye week comes at a great time for us to really hone in on the little things and clean up some of the stuff that didn't look good today,” said quarterback J.W. Walsh. “The more we get to work on stuff and tune our skills, the better we can be for conference play.”
The Cowboys actually get two open dates among the next four Saturdays, with another break from between home games against Kansas State on Oct 5 and TCU on Oct. 19.
“If I was drawing it up,” Gundy said, “I would play four or five games, have a bye week and then play the rest of the season. That's the hand that we were dealt, so we made do with what we had and we programmed the young men to make them the best that we can be.
“Things we don't have control over, we don't worry about.”
CARDINALS BRING FAMILIAR FACES
Among Lamar's captains Saturday was a pair of familiar faces: former Cowboys Kevin Johnson and Joe Okafor.