T-shirts around the stadium proclaimed, “Fill the Bill,” and the purple followers came through. The crowd sent rumbles through the Great Plains as Kansas State took the field in front of a record opening day home crowd. As if there wasn’t enough roar in the crowd to start the game, Harley Day in Manhattan sent more noise bouncing off the walls of Bill Snyder Stadium. With Snyder’s return to the sidelines, much anticipation has grown for the Wildcats and having UCLA as an opponent only increased the excitement.
Kansas State and the Bruins kept it close all game long. With about two minutes left and the Wildcats leading by one, both teams decided to wake up. KSU found the end zone to stretch the lead to 8, but it only took UCLA 2 plays to cut the lead to 2 on the ensuing drive. However, the Wildcats put the game away and sent the crowd home happy with a 35 yard TD run by Daniel Thomas, who seemed to be everyone’s unofficial MVP. The final score: 31-22.
It’s hard to imagine how such passion for this team can emanate from the rolling emptiness that surrounds Bill Snyder Stadium. The dense amount of purple that fills the stadium is impressive. UCLA only traveled a small amount of baby blue followers, so the purple truly had an effect. “Fill the Bill” was a success and the crowd responded with vocal support that would intimidate any incoming opponent.