TULSA — Oklahoma State and Tulsa football players waited all day Saturday for their 9 p.m. kickoff at H.A. Chapman Stadium.
They came out, stretched and went through their typical pregame routine.
Then they got to wait some more.
Three hours and 16 minutes, to be precise.
OSU and Tulsa finally kicked off at 12:16 a.m. Sunday morning, and the Cowboys went on to a 59-33 win over the Golden Hurricane.
Cowboys players ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and did a lot of sitting around and talking during the long delay, OSU coach Mike Gundy said.
“They laid around, and then after an hour and a half they became stir crazy, and they're up walking around,” Gundy said of his players.
“We were a loose football team,” cornerback Brodrick Brown said. “We just had to wait. We can't do anything about that. We all sat around, talked to each other, listened to our iPods ... it was just a waiting process.”
Did anyone play cards?
“If we had had some, I think we would have,” cornerback Justin Gilbert said. “One time somebody mentioned playing some dominoes; I wish we would have brought some.”
Serious consideration was given by OSU and Tulsa officials to canceling the game altogether after a long thunderstorm and multiple lightning delays.
The delay became frustrating for players and coaches who had spent all week preparing for the game.
“We game-planned all week, and for us to come all the way here and then have to go all the way back would have disappointed a lot of us,” Gilbert said. “We wanted to get this win under out belt and continue on down the road.”
The delay sent several fans to the exits, but a majority stuck around.
And when players and coaches returned to the field, many were surprised by just how many fans had come back to their seats. Chief among them was Gundy, who was part of a group taking an over/under on how many fans would still be in the stadium after the delay.
“I was guessing a couple thousand,” Gundy said. “Somebody started with 2,500, and I was guessing a couple thousand.
“I thought the people were great — the Tulsa fans and the Oklahoma State fans who stuck around.”
Gilbert said he thought the long wait may have gotten some players out of the right frame of mind, but once they were told the game was back on, they were ready.
“I think for a lot of people, it got them out of the game mode,” Gilbert said. “But once they said game time again, everyone got amped up and ready to go.
“I was the first one out of the locker room; the first one with my pads on and ready to run out.”