The student known as the "Plunger Boy" showed up at the stadium before the game. He was going to make sure he got his front row seat. He had been waiting for basketball games for a long time. Is it possible to get to a football game early. There is a first time for every single thing. A group of friends, a few signs, and a trademark headband were waiting for Noah Ginsberg, otherwise known as the "Plunger Boy", to arrive.
Around two hours before the game, about 100 students were waiting for the gates to open and were wondering if they were really good at football.
The college fan base is excited about football.
Do you think even here is possible?
He continues. We've been waiting for football to return. I have been waiting for a while. I have to know about my cousins going to the school. We want the football team to bring people together. It starts with the fans, but also on the field. If fans return, that's where it begins.
It has been difficult to get fans to games. Before this season, Kansas had gone 12 straight years with three wins or fewer, which was tied with Kent State for the longest streak in college football history. Kansas has made 12 bowl games and has an all-time record that is below.500.
The Allen Fieldhouse is home to the Kansas men's basketball team and has a sellout streak of over 300 games. Kansas is the defending national champion and the reason fans come is because of that. The Jayhawks became the winningest Division I men's basketball program last year.
Hardcore football fans in Kansas were proud to tell their stories on Saturday. He has been coming to games for a long time. He went to the Orange Bowl in 2008 when Kansas defeated Virginia Tech. He has attended all of the games as a student. Alex Ailey is a senior as well. Three years ago, Ailey purchased a red and blue spiked wig and a shirt that said "We are back" in order to be ready for this moment.
Ailey said that he had watched the team lose by 45 every week.
"I've seen us lose by 60," he said.
Ailey says she fell in love with the team when they lost. It was my first game. Even though we lost, I knew this was a good team. I knew we'd get there someday.
There is a freshman who is going to chime in next.
It is so special to be here because of the team that is trying to get over the hump. You know basketball is going to be good, but you don't know football is going to be good.
Dave and Colin take their usual spots on the other side of the stadium to greet the team when they arrive. The Couch family has been doing this for many years. Charlie Weis and Lance Leipold would always stop and say hello to each other. The players, administrators, parents and security guards all have something in common. You know the Couches if you follow Kansas sports.
In 1996, they got season tickets. Colin was in a wheelchair because of the birth. Doctors didn't know if Colin would make it. He connected with football in a way that made him the team's biggest fan when he was a kid. Colin makes sure to high five five players and assistants as they head to the field for pre-game warm ups. One assistant said it was a great day to go 4-0.
Dave Couch says thatColin has a mentality about being a warrior because he's fought since the day he was born. He can relate to the situation of being pushed into a corner and not back down. Football is similar to sports in that you are fighting on every play to win. That's who Colin is and that's who he's always been. I like the fact that this could be related to his love for football.
The large grassy hill that leads up to the Campanile is dotted with white tailgating tents. Freshman Quin Wittenauer is standing with a group of friends and yelling "We're a football school!".
Are you talking about a football school in Kansas?
He says it's a dream. I have been waiting for this for a long time. I've watched all of the KU games. I would like to cry. I am wearing a uniform in my pictures.
Their voices are indistinguishable as they try and top each other on their Kansas football predictions.
They are yelling, "We want Bama!"
We don't want Georgia!
No, no. Alabama would like to join us!
The tent is behind them. Around the time the season started, his parents and their friends got a tailgating tent for the game.
Shannon Doser said they were supposed to have 10 people in the tent. I believe we have 100.
Scott Johnson is sitting on a bench at the top of the hill that has a clear view of the stadium. He remembers going to games in the 1960s to watch some of his favorite players.
They have had great football teams through the years. The last decade has been rough. It's really rough.
Johnson drove 585 miles from his home in Colorado to attend the game because he always does. The game was sold out for the first time in over a year.
He said he was amazed.
He decided to sit on the bench even though the view of the field was not good.
Johnson would have been a part of the loud crowd that was on its feet throughout the game if he had made it into the stadium. The security guards stood in front of the Kansas student section holding a rope to prevent them from entering the field.
The crowd waved white towels in celebration after Kansas made a defensive stop to seal the win. There was a dance between security and the students as the clock wound down.
After a few moments delay, one segment of the rope was let down, and students poured onto the field in a fairly orderly fashion, without pushing, shoving or trampling, but rather pure elation and some disbelief.
Grimm said that it was crazy. I thought we were doing this. The students are going to run on the field regardless of what the commentator says in the background. You're with family at that point because you're having fun and you've experienced something.
The students were told to leave about 10 minutes after they arrived. One student screamed "I can't believe we won!" as she turned to her friend and said, "I can't believe we won!"