Since we’re staying on the coast (New Bern), we have about a 2.5-hour drive ahead of us per Google maps.
The goal is to get there early enough to wander around campus a bit.
So of course we start an hour later than I wanted to.
And 30 minutes in is our first bathroom break.
My god, North Carolina drivers are jerks.
And another break. Should have put more weight on the “two kids under 3” factor.
New plan. Get some Carolina bbq and then go straight to the game.
Good grief these drivers. I swear they’re worse than people from Missouri.
Google maps suggests a place called Lawrence BBQ. Seems like a good omen. Two hours until kickoff.
So this is an open air food court in the middle of an office park. Kinda weird. But right off the highway so whatever.
Took forever. Back on the road but one hour until kickoff. Wasn’t great but wasn’t bad. Ribs kinda sucked. Beans were meh. Everything else above average. Had a chicken sandwich that was fried thigh meat. Honestly, highly recommend.
Not a lot of traffic around the stadium, but not a lot of parking options either. There is free parking, but you have to park about a mile north of the stadium and walk through campus if you don’t have a pass. There are no cash lots anywhere.
Met up with some college friends outside the stadium who drove down from Virginia. We’ll all sit together.
Walking in as the opening kickoff commences.
Eight rows behind the KU bench on the 30-yard line. This will do nicely.
Wow our defense is swiss cheese.
HOLY CRAP A TURNOVER.
Oh man he needed to run that back, we’ll be lucky if we get 3 points out of this.
Four plays, minus three yards, missed FG. Just call me Mikestradamus.
Lol big run for Duke for a TD, man that SUCKS.
Duke cheerleaders throwing shirts into the crowd. We get four.
Grimm has to catch that.
I’m sorry, what, they’re punting?
See, good things happen when you throw the ball down the field!
Huge sack lol how did that guy catch Bean?
A 50-yard field goal is surprisingly good.
Kiddo wants a pretzel and water. Up the stairs we go.
A fumble! I missed it.
Duke 7, Kansas 3
Torry Locklin? Still missing it.
Duke cheerleaders walking through the aisles now. They were very nice to my little girl. Even let her shake a pompom.
They said something about, “Looks like you guys are doing pretty good.” I respond, “Don’t worry, the second half will be yours.” (Mikestradamus has spoken.)
Sidebar: The fan support here is not impressive. In fact, KU has better fan support for football in general. Make all the jokes about our attendance that you want, but at least our alumni side usually looks good. This looks like what you see when you play at New Mexico State in NCAA ‘14 (see the lead photo above).
I always figured working in the KU ticket office trying to sell football tickets is hard, but here it must be even more difficult. (Editor’s note: Official attendance was 19,128.)
Another sidebar: Seems to be a decent number of KU fans here.
Not a lot of Duke students though. What they do have is clustered in the first six or so rows directly behind the north end zone.
Every time Duke scores, the band plays the fight song, which ends with the student section spelling “Duke.”
So far, they’ve spelled it correctly every single time, although I assume that’s at least partially due to the four flags the cheerleaders run across the end zone with that spell D-U-K-E.
Regardless, they’re quite proud of themselves afterward. There must be an entire class on that here or something.
Anyway, back to our regularly scheduled programming.
Wow, they are just gashing us.
Too easy for Duke.
Holy crap a 3-and-out.
Wilson has to catch that.
“Nevermind, it’s not happening,” he says, as we punt it right back.
Just gashing us.
THERE YA GO TREVOR WILSON! SportsCenter here we come!
Duke family in the row behind us asking about the arm waving (waving the wheat). Pulled up a video of Memorial from the Mangino era.
It’s really cool when tens of thousands of people are doing it. Not so much when it’s just six.
Holy crap a halftime lead.
Kansas 24, Duke 21
Kiddo wants to go see Baby Jay. Cheerleaders must be taking a break too, they disappeared at half.
The Duke band isn’t very big.
The sun is finally behind the press box. That will make things much easier for us.
What a beautiful evening, weather-wise.
Waved to the KU cheerleaders. Got some waves back.
And what a start! Big run by Neal.
Oh good another field goal.
Baby Jay is back! May be the highlight of the night for the little one. Back to our section we go.
Good grief we cannot tackle this Durant dude. And WTF was that sack attempt? Duke QB somehow gets out of it and they get 53 yards. This is Kansas football.
Three and out.
JUST GASHING US.
That sure looked to me like a fumble on that Duke TD. KU sideline pointing at the video board. Officials not even gonna take a look.
Duke Superfan in the next section over has finally had enough beer to get obnoxious.
That and Duke has seemingly taken control of the game.
Oh no, I think that’s Bean’s first pick of the year.
This has suddenly turned. Why do I have to be Mikestradamus.
I kinda wish we would have gone for it there even though it was 4th-and-3 from our own 37. Defense ain’t stopping nobody today. Gotta take chances.
What a disaster of a quarter.
Duke 42, Kansas 27
Another Duke fumble but we couldn’t get that one.
Held them to a field goal. I’m saying there’s a chance.
KWAMIE with the big play downfield and we’re only down 12.
Is this the worst tackling team of all-time? I say yes.
Duke Superfan now hurling insults at our bench and Kenny Logan as he gets ejected for targeting.
Yikes, 52 points.
Jayhawks back into the red zone but the clock is disappearing fast.
OPI? Lol of course. Probably the right call too, unfortunately.
Ah man another pick. That will be the final nail.
FINAL: Duke 52, Kansas 33
Gave our free shirts away to the nice Duke family a couple rows in front of us.
Man that one guy was a clown though. Nearly ruined the whole experience of it. I kid you not, he reminded me of the typical Missouri and/or K-State fan. Yelling, cursing - dude there’s kids everywhere. C’mon man.
Otherwise - very cool stadium. 99% of the Duke fans were cool. Loved the overall experience as a fan. Chairbacks, good variety of concessions, nice restrooms - great fan experience, actually. (Way better than BC, fyi.)
Time to hike back to the car.
Lol Missouri lost. K-State losing. Maybe today won’t be a total wash after all. After all, sometimes (most times) schadenfreude is all we KU football fans have.
Hopefully the drive home will go smoothly. Gonna hit up a Bojangles at some point on the way.
It’s gonna be a long drive back. <— Actually, I think that should be KU Football’s motto until further notice. Because it’s gonna be a long season. This defense is atrocious.
Hopefully the offense will continue taking shots downfield though.
See you guys at Homecoming!