Travel to Lawrence:
I travel from southern Johnson County to Lawrence, a usually simple trip of 45 minutes. My faithful KU football game companion, the eldest child, follows @LarencePD who has been warning about major road construction on 23rd Street. Great! We leave a little early. What happened to K-10? No warning it's one lane from Cedar Creek to Eudora, both ways. Julie Lorenz, KU grad and KDOT Secretary, where was the warning about construction for KU fans traveling to Lawrence?
Pregame in Lawrence:
My normal tailgate falls apart due to the expected high temperature. The eldest child and I go to Lawrence Beer Company (LBC). Freestate Brewing used to be the stop, but as the wise Yogi Bera said once “No one goes there nowadays, it’s too crowded.” Despite the construction delays, we arrived with plenty of time for a couple of drinks and dinner. LBC always has a good selection of beer. This afternoon it is Computer Brain, a Brut IPA.
We spent a little more time than expected at LBC and head over to the stadium at about 6:20.
On the way to the stadium:
As we pull into a spot in lot 36, I start to wonder how many people are going to show up for the game. We drive right up and park without any trouble just like always, hmmmm. Next troubling sign, as we walk down the hill and past the tailgate tents, people are passing out free bags of chips. Did no one show up to the party? We are seeing a nice number of fans but the number does not seem overwhelming. After getting through security we finally get the first sign there may be more people at the game than KU Athletics is used to, where are the rosters? Usually, there are large stacks of them with people desperately looking for takers. Today we do not see any rosters. About the time we get to our section, the eldest child spots a guy with a few left, she rushes over and snags one of the last he has. Good sign. On to our sets.
Pregame in the stadium:
- It has not taken long to get our seats since we left LBC, we are in our seats 15 minutes before kickoff.
- East side stands, especially the student section looking to have a good number of people in them.
- The band is on the field.
- Time for the anthem and the A10 flyover. The planes are not nearly as loud as I expected.
- Hype videos are good but no Jayhawk fighter is to be seen.
- New (back) this year, the band is lined up for the team to run through including fireworks as they come out. Nice! It feels like a big-time football situation.
- Chris Harris Jr. is here to toss the coin, and Tennessee Tech wins it and chooses to receive the ball. I am good with that. Game Time!!
- As usual wifi and cell coverage suck inside the stadium. I give up quickly on pulling up the Rock Chalk Talk open game thread.
- Student section full to the top of the stadium.
- Jalon sets the tone early with a nice deep play to Skinner.
- Devin too. Nice start.
- Man, that guy was moving after picking up the blocked kick!
- What is this, 2006?
- Not as wild as those Mangino days, the crowd is not that confident and not that large, but man is it nice to be up big early on a team you expect to beat handily.
- Things are settling down as the crowd settles down after a great start in the first quarter.
- Haven’t scored in a while, what is going on? Man spoiled quickly.
- Jalon bails us out after several lackluster runs, TD!
- And there is Lonnie Phelps. Hope it is a sign of things to come.
- 1:36 left, a coach, not Lance or OC must be the QB coach, talks to Jalon and gives thumbs up to the press box. It seems to be a go for the 2-minute offense.
- And yes it is. They zip down the field for a TD and the crowd is loving it.
- 35-3, so this is how the other half lives. Nice!
Is anyone ready to trade out Oasis for Harry Styles? The KU band is back with a few tunes, including a cover of the former One Direction member’s “Music For A Sushi Restaurant”. The female members of my household love this man, so I know this song well.
- When will Jason Bean or even Ben Easters get some time?
- From where I sit on this 3rd down it has to be going to Devin Neal. My bad I am totally watching the wrong guy as Jalon Daniels keeps it for an easy first down.
- My mind starts to wander and I start to wonder what happened to the Junior Jayhawk Reporter segment. Always a light moment during games the Jaywaks are undoubtedly going to lose, I wonder if they skipped it today?
- Jalon must be feeling it now, he attempts to make the pitch on an option play after he is hit. What? Never do that. Three-yard loss, but could have been much worse.
- Jacob Borcilla misses the kick with 9:27 to go in the third. Oh well, tonight it is not a big deal, but noted.
- My eldest turns to me after the missed kick and says “it is referee time”.
- One minute and fifteen seconds of playtime later, the first penalty of the night against the Jayhawks. Referee time is indeed here. They need to get their screen time.
- The Junior Jayhawk Reporter is back during the TV timeout, and it never fails to deliver. The young girl asks Quinton Skinner if he knows a good joke. So what did Q Skin (apparently one of his nicknames) say? “How do you make a kleenex dance? Put a little boogie in it.” The crowd erupts with laughter. It is the non-football highlight of the night.
- The first turnover of the night for the Jayhawks happens right in from of me. What was Jalon seeing? It is hard to believe he saw anything other than white jerseys.
- Jayson Gilliom is not dressed out. Why is that? I look at the others not dressed, looks like they are all walk-ons. Maybe he is hurt?
- A missed field goal for Tennessee Tech and during the following timeout the Junior Reporter walks right by me. I have to stand up so her family can walk by. Must be headed home after seeing the segment on the big board.
- During the time out Macklemore is singing about “The ceiling can’t hold us”, and Devin Neil promptly breaks off an 80-yard touchdown run. Macklemore seems to be right.
- I see we now have 17 playing cornerback but other than Jason Bean there is no 17 on the roster. The guy’s hair is so long that it covers his name. Who is that?
- Jason Bean time!
- Finally leave my seat to hit the concession stand. Short lines when you go late. I am third in line, just ahead of a couple. The husband looks familiar. I look again, and sure enough, he has an all-access pass with “Kurtis Townsend” clearly visible. Still here at the start of the fourth. Nice.
- Soda in hand and back in my seat, my eldest sees Jeremy Case on the sidelines, and with him is Remy Martin taking pictures with fans in the stands.
- Chris Harris and his Super Bowl ring are still here dapping up players on the sideline.
- Eriq Gilyard! Turnover for the Jayhawks. Again, it happens right in front of our seats. Good game for my seats getting plenty of action right in front of me.
- Mystery solved. 17 on defense is Monte’ McGary. He is listed as 24 on the roster, but that is not the number he is wearing.
- Bean has had a nice run at QB, wondering if they will give Easters a shot.
- The bench is getting plenty of playing time, both on offense and defense.
- Smile Cam’ is a big hit with the remaining crowd. Lots of young fans dancing for the camera.
- Kwinton Lassiter getting time in on defense in addition to his special teams' duties. Like to see the family name still on the field.
- Game over 56-10. That is what it is supposed to look like.