Saturday’s experience in the OSU student section was unusual. Boos — directed at OSU’s coaches, multiple students said — rained down.
STILLWATER — Aidan McGee was eager to share his thoughts after watching two and a half quarters of Oklahoma State’s eventual 33-7 defeat to South Alabama.
Standing from his vantage point near the front of the OSU student section, he hesitated only once.
“I’ve watched too much Oklahoma State football in my life to deal with this,” McGee, a junior OSU student, said. “I went to my first Oklahoma State game when I was four months old, in a swaddle. … It’s abysmal.”
Many students voiced similar frustrations while being interviewed in the second half of the game. There was not much for them to cheer about. South Alabama led 23-0 before OSU scored early in the fourth quarter.
“It just seemed like everybody (in the student section) was upset when (South Alabama) scored that first field goal and then it went downhill from there,” junior Jordyn Glover said.
Glover sat at the top of the student section with some friends, including Kate Godfrey.
Godfrey said she attends games in large part for the atmosphere. Though an announced sellout crowd of 53,855 thinned considerably by the fourth quarter, Godfrey said she stuck around to sing Garth Brooks’ “Friends in Low Places”’ with other loyal fans.
Saturday’s experience in the student section was unusual. Boos — directed at OSU’s coaches, multiple students said — rained down.
Some frustration stemmed from quarterback decisions. Senior Alan Bowman, OSU’s starter, was 6-for-12 for 42 yards and an interception. Sophomore Gunnar Gundy relieved Bowman with 7:44 left in second quarter and went 9-for-18 for 64 yards.
“Alan Bowman definitely got a lot of the boos,” Godfrey said. “Based on last game, everybody loves Gunnar starting. He’s definitely, I would say, fan favorite.”
By the time Garret Rangel got his chance with 9:04 left in the fourth quarter, the game was so far out of reach, statistics were hardly worth keeping.
“Initially everybody was pretty excited for Bowman,” said Cooper Ellis, who hadn’t even heard of South Alabama. “He went in and didn’t do the job. Eventually Gundy got put in the game. We were excited. But at the end of the day, he didn’t really provide either.”
Then there were the fans whose disdain had a broader scope.
Enter, again, Aidan McGee.
“Dude I’m telling you, we’ve got to fire (offensive coordinator) Kasey Dunn,” McGee said. “He’s awful. We pay this guy $900,000 a year to give us, what, 105 yards so far? He’s awful. He needs to go. A Madden CPU could call a better game.”
So what is the confidence level in OSU?
“Zero, absolutely bottom of the barrel,” McGee said.
“Low, very low,” Godfrey said. “Like, a two out of 10. For this game, probably a zero. There’s still time in the season to get it together. But running out of time.”
OSU fan Wyatt Isabell said he understands OSU needs to figure out the three-quarterback system. And a lot of other things. But that didn’t make the real-time tinkering any more enjoyable to watch.
“It’s pretty frustrating,” Isabell said. “I was coming into this pretty confident that we were going to win and whoop their butt.”
There was one section of fans in Boone Pickens Stadium that stayed cheery.
“Our hopes were up for (South Alabama) to win, but you never know, said Kyle Robinson, who attended USA. “But we’re very excited right now.”
Ryan Voisin, whose twin sons Jaden and Devin play for South Alabama, was confident about the Jaguars’ chances against the Cowboys. He thought Toledo, who USA lost to in week one, was a better team than OSU.
“We knew this was a winnable game. I think (South Alabama) can play with anybody.”
“We are wondering if OSU is just bad, or if they are just having an off night,” said Caroline Robinson, a former South Alabama student.