Playing against Texas Tech on Saturday, Oklahoma State’s matchup was bigger than football.
With Oklahoma State University being recognized as the first Purple Heart institution in Oklahoma, the school celebrated Veteran’s Day and the 100th anniversary of OSU’s ROTC program.
In the last home game of the season, the Cowboys took on Red Raiders in a packed Boone Pickens Stadium. Thanks to a 2:30 p.m. kickoff, fans were able to fill the stands with orange and black. As the seniors took the field one last time, a newfound energy surged through the student section.
From the opening kickoff, the chants were louder, the claps were harder, and the screams were longer. The Paddle People, brandishing their sleek black paddles for military appreciation, pounded the black mats lining the walls of the stadium.
As halftime drew closer, it was evident that this game would follow the typical Big 12 formula: huge offense, no defense. With the score tied at 21 heading into the break, the band took the field for one of the best halftime shows of the season.
Several Purple Heart recipients were recognized on the field, and the band formed a heart around midfield with ‘USA’ in the center. The color guard then brought out a massive purple ribbon that was used to surround the heart; it was a beautiful tribute to all those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.
After a perfect halftime show honoring all the men and women in uniform, the second half kicked off with a bang.
Pistol Pete fired his trusty shotgun, and the entire stadium erupted in the iconic ‘OSU Cowboys’ chant.
One nearby fan hoisted his turkey leg high above his head, waving it proudly as his beloved Cowboys racked up 45 points. Chants praising the cherished drumstick echoed throughout the student section.
In Cardiac Cowboy tradition, the Pokes kept their fans on edge the entire game. Thanks to a mishandled snap and missed extra point, the Cowboys were up by only a point.
After a miraculous onside kick return, it was OSU’s game to lose. “Friends in Low Places” played throughout the stadium and encapsulated each fans mood as the Cowboys ran over the Red Raiders in the final minutes.
Daylight Savings Time made this matchup the closest thing to a night game OSU fans would experience all season except for the three-hour long lightning delay against Pittsburgh.
It was a bittersweet end for the seniors as the alma mater played and the fans swayed.
Honoring the brave men and women in the armed forces, the Cowboy Marching Band played their hearts out and topped off a memorable final game in Boone Pickens Stadium.