WKU students enjoy experience at NFL stadium

WKU announced on Friday that 4,049 students packed the end zone at Nashville’s L.P. Field for the Toppers’ season opener against UK. Total attendance was announced at 24,599.

Chela Counts

WKU fans rallied together on Thursday night to see the football team go up against Kentucky.

Whether fans chose to be front and center at L.P. Field or simply watching the game on ESPNU in theatre of DUC or at RedZone, hopes were high for a Topper victory

Junior Leah Beth Dublin, of Cuba, Ky., was along for the ride on one the four free buses provided to students and residents by Housing and Residence Life on Thursday and said it was all a little surreal.

“I enjoyed riding the bus,” she said. “I was expecting it to be crowded and rowdy but it wasn’t. It was fun, comfortable and the student seats in the stadium were great.

“It’s something that I would never be able to pay for or really go to — a stadium that big with front row seats.

Jeremy Jenkins, who organized the student fan buses, said a total of 224 students utilized the free bus service to L.P. Field.

But not everyone knew that free transportation would be offered.

“I didn’t hear about transportation to the game until the day of, but I had already been planning on going with friends as a group,” Nashville sophomore Shelby Whitt said.
Regardless, students showed up for their school and their team. A total of 4,049 WKU students filled the stands in the end zone at L.P. Field.
“The atmosphere of being in the student section was really fun.” Whitt said. “It felt like it was the most students we’ve had at a game ever. There was a lot of good school spirit.”
Topper fans were excited to see WKU take an early 3-0 lead in the game, but the lack of offense gave room for the Wildcats to take the lead.
Junior quarterback Kawaun Jakes struggled with making passes and threw four interceptions in the game.
WKU fans were hopeful to see a comeback, but instead saw a 14-3 loss.
“I was really happy the score was as low as it was,” Dublin said. “I was really proud of our defense. They did a really good job, and I feel like our offense was just having an off night.
“Our defense has definitely improved.”
Even though some students traveled and had morning classes to attend the next day, they made sure they showed support in every way.
Louisville sophomore Sara Florence made sure to wear her WKU gear and get in the spirit.
“I didn’t really care who won, but I wore my WKU apparel and sat in the WKU student section,” she said. “The seats were great even though me and my friends got there late, and the atmosphere was fun and exciting for the most part.”
Florence was one of many who had a 9 a.m. class to attend the next day, but she made it back to the classroom.
“We left the game early and didn’t get back until midnight,” Florence said. “I didn’t sleep at all.”