LAWRENCE, Kan. — On Saturday, the University of Kansas football team will try to advance to 4-0 while playing at home in front of a sold-out crowd.
It’s a big energy shift for the 3-0 Jayhawk football team. In fact, their game against the Duke Blue Devils is the first sellout game in over three years for the program.
The Jayhawks are Vegas favorites in the game. That’s important to note because KU football hasn’t won more than three games in a season since all the way back in 2009.
That means fans are hopeful — and they’re showing it — during a season that’s already experiencing a lot of changes.
“We just started where we can print the names and numbers of athletes on jerseys,” said Jaelyn Colvin, sales lead for Rally House Lawrence.
“I’m sure if you look in your closet, you have a bunch of KU basketball stuff in your closet. But some people are needing to stock up on KU football,” Colvin said.
Students are also riding the wave of positivity.
“We’re a football school now for sure,” said Jack O’Connell, a KU freshman.
“I think it’s the first time they’ve been favored against another Power 5 school since like 2009 or something like that,” O’Connell said.
Another fan said the growth comes with personal pride.
“My mom went to KU, and my middle name is actually Kansas so it’s always been in the blood,” said Liam Bigbee, a first-year student at the University of Kansas School of Law.
FOX4 joked that we might need to see some ID proof for that one.
“That’s what everyone says. They say ‘Let me see you ID!’ I think it’s the best party trick,” Bigbee said, showing off his license.
As a part of the fandom, it’s easy to notice the focus is on the players and how they impact the crowd.
“I think Jaylon Daniels is really good at quarterback. He’s really good. I think he could be on the Heisman watch list toward the end of the year,” O’Connell said.
“I have a lot of customers talking about how Kansas just passed (sports betting), how they can bet — talking about their parlays and all that stuff. And I think that’s also huge because the fans are feeling more a part of the team,” Colvin said.
“It’s not something that I think the university has seen in a long time,” Bigbee added.
“So when you talk about ‘selling out the booth,’ right? The students in this class have not experienced anything like that,” Bigbee said. “So for us to all be able to go out early, we don’t have finals to worry about. Maybe some midterms, but whatever. But just getting to enjoy this experience going into the fall is pretty incredible.”
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