Many lessons to learn

It is like the Oklahoma State fans are Ralph Macchio and Nebraska is Mr. Miagi. You can do a whole lot of damage to that fence, Daniel son, if you paint it instead of simply using it for a sitting mechanism...

Saturday marks Oklahoma State's first home game of the season, the second of the year, and several fans have already doomed the Cowboys.

OSU's 17-7 loss to Nebraska broke many hearts. However, it is too early to condemn the season, offensive line and quarterback.

The Cowboys need a strong fan base to help them through the next three months. That type of support is exactly what carried Nebraska to victory, and it is what OSU fans need to imitate.

It is extremely difficult to play with resolve and determination when 74,000 screaming fans are there, doing their best to pump up the home team.

And Nebraska fans know, not only how to fill a stadium, but how to run a Saturday of college football.

Last Saturday, tailgaters and random fans flooded the Nebraska campus. Vendors with every kind of food appropriate for football filled the campus and spilled over to downtown Lincoln.

Several fans could be heard singing and humming the Nebraska fight song as early as four hours before kickoff. There was even a man playing the Cornhuskers' fight song on his accordian and collecting tips from passers-by two blocks from Memorial Stadium.

OSU could learn a lot from a school such as Nebraska.

While the Cowboys don't have near the tradition that the Cornhuskers enjoy, it couldn't hurt to show the same level of enthusiasm for OSU's on-the-rise football team.

Usually, Lewis Field doesn't fill until the conference schedule begins. And even then it takes a bigger team — like Texas or Oklahoma — to draw people the stands.

Unfortunately, losing to the Cornhuskers in the most anticipated season opener in recent history doesn't help.

However, it can be easily assured that the offense will get out of their funk against Wyoming, and redemption could be had in the form of a blowout.

Quarterback Josh Fields will bounce back strong. His first two seasons are proof that Saturday was a fluke. You don't just wake up one off-season and lose every ounce of talent God gave you, or your intelligence for that matter.

The offensive line just needs a little time to come together. In the fourth quarter of the Nebraska game, it actually began to give Fields time to throw. He was just so rattled by that point that it didn't make any difference.

And the receivers and backs will easily follow suit.

The next four games will be heaven-sent for OSU. They have four teams from lower-tier conferences that will get them back on their feet. Criticism at this point is premature, and jumping off the bandwagon could get someone run under its wheels.

OSU fans need to show positive support if the program is ever going to get off the ground.
No team just wakes up in the middle of a dynasty. It takes time and support.

Matt Palmer can be reached

via e-mail at

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