By JASON ELMQUIST
STIILLWATER — It’s been more than 300 days since the Oklahoma State football team last stepped on the field at Boone Pickens Stadium to face an opponent wearing a different uniform.
While Cowboy fans have been waiting patiently — or as patiently as they can — for the 2013 home opener, the excitement has been growing since the first two weeks of the season were played on the road for OSU.
But it’s not only fans that are looking forward to see the Cowboys charge through the smoke onto the turf of Boone Pickens Stadium — so too are the players and coaches.
“We’re expecting the largest crowd in the history of Boone Pickens Stadium. I think it’s awesome for the students, the fans and everybody,” OSU coach Mike Gundy said. “Our players are excited about it. It’s a great chance for the people of Oklahoma to show up and support our players. At the end of the day, that’s what it comes down to, the players. It’s a great chance for everyone to show up at 6:30 and support the team.”
The 6:30 p.m. kickoff against Lamar, which will be televised on Fox Sports Net (Suddenlink channel 37), will be the only home game for the Cowboys in the first month of the season — and only home game in the first five weeks of the college football season.
“I feel like we’ve been on the road for two months now, going to Texas twice,” offensive lineman Brandon Webb said. “It’s going to be fun coming back and having our family and friends here and getting to play in front of them.”
The Cowboys have already since a change from Week 1 to the first game at home. Out is quarterback Clint Chelf, in is J.W. Walsh, who will be making his first start in Boone Pickens Stadium since the Iowa State game in which he sustained an injury a year ago.
Even those players who are from the state of Texas — which is a majority of Oklahoma State players — are happy to finally get to play in Oklahoma as opposed to heading to Lonestar State after back-to-back weekends in southern Texas.
“It’s great to finally be able to play at home. We’ve been on the road for two weeks in a row, so we’re ready to come home and play in front of our home crowd,” Walsh said. “It has been a little different, but we’ve taken care of business while on the road.”
Possibly the most excited person to finally have a game in front of the Cowboy fan base is first-year offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich.
“They say it’s going to be a packed house with a lot of orange,” Yurcich said. “So I’m fired up. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”