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Oklahoma State opens at home in fine fashion

In front of a record crowd at their renovated stadium, the ninth-ranked Bulldogs defeat 13th-ranked Georgia, 24-10.

September 06, 2009|Associated Press

STILLWATER, OKLA — . -- Mike Gundy was in the midst of a ribbon-cutting ceremony to rededicate Oklahoma State's renovated stadium when he heard public address announcer Larry Reece say that the game that followed marked the biggest day in the history of the university.

"No pressure," he said.

No problem.

With a record crowd looking on, Gundy and his Cowboys lived up to the expectations that came with the best preseason ranking in school history.

Zac Robinson threw two touchdown passes to star receiver Dez Bryant and also scored on a quarterback sneak as No. 9 Oklahoma State beat 13th-ranked Georgia, 24-10, on Saturday.

The Bulldogs' first season opener outside the Southeast in 51 years was set up as a grand reopening of Oklahoma State's stadium after a $286-million renovation. It ended up as the most anticipated home opener in OSU history as the Cowboys returned most of their stars from last year's breakout 9-4 season.

A record crowd of 53,012 turned out as billionaire donor T. Boone Pickens rededicated the stadium. Career rushing-leader Thurman Thomas made a cameo too.

Then came the best part for OSU: a victory. "It was a tremendous day," Gundy said.

The Cowboys surged onto the national scene last season with an upset of No. 3 Missouri. Their only regular-season losses came against teams ranked Nos. 1, 2 and 3. Despite a loss to Oregon in the Holiday Bowl, they headed into this season with higher hopes than ever before.

Robinson finished with 135 yards on 11-for-22 passing, and Bryant made the most of his three catches for 77 yards. Bryant finished off a 46-yard connection between the two with a dazzling diving catch in the first half, then caught a 12-yarder in the fourth quarter for the game's final score.

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