ILLINOIS – MEMORIAL STADIUM

Somewhere amid the cornfields of the midwest lies Champaign, Illinois. It’s a great college town with mounds of enthusiasm and passion for their team. On gameday, tailgating takes place in open fields where music blasts, games are played, and footballs are tossed.  You might even catch the band performing a quick drumline or “Oskee Wow Wow” before they make their march into Memorial Stadium.

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LIBERTY – WILLIAMS STADIUM


For a university that wasn’t in existence when Bo and Woody began their ten-year war in 1969, Liberty has the gameday experience figured out. It’s an atmosphere that is uniquely their own and embodies traditions that have taken strong roots. Its prosperous run as an FCS member in The Big South Conference has transitioned them smoothly into their current position as a budding force in the FBS.

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Game 291: New Mexico @ Liberty

“The game went nothing like what I thought it was going to go,” remarked Liberty head coach Hugh Freeze during the postgame press conference. “I went for it on 4th and 2 on the 40-yard line to start it because I just had my mind made up that this thing is going to be 45-41 shootout type game.”

It wasn’t. This was a slugfest between two schools that can light up the scoreboard. A frustrating fact for the Flames was that they had nearly 500 yards of offense in a 17-10 victory. But, a win is a win and that means everything to a team that is eligible to earn its first bowl game in program history.

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VIRGINIA TECH – LANE STADIUM

Lane Stadium rests in southwest Virginia and rises high into the Blue Ridge Mountain air. There are few places more welcoming than Blacksburg, where a spirited fan base spills over with pride for their Hokies. However, a welcoming group of fans doesn’t dilute the intimidation that courses through Lane Stadium. Passion pulsates throughout gameday making Virginia Tech one of the best atmospheres in college football.

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Game 290: Duke @ Virginia Tech

Lane Stadium shook as Enter Sandman had fans leaping from their seats in anticipation of their Hokies exploding out of the tunnel.
Then, it got quiet for the next four quarters as Duke reminded Virginia Tech that they are not quite yet ready for prime time.
Coach Justin Fuente echoed this reality during the postgame press conference by offering, “Obviously we are not ready, or we’re not at the point where we can complete and play and have a chance to win against that team we played tonight.”

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Game 289: Miami (OH) @ #5 Ohio State

A tremendous defensive play resulting in a safety followed by an impressive field goal ending drive gave Miami (Ohio) a 5-0 lead over Ohio State early in the first quarter.
“We’re winning!” exclaimed a dumbfounded Redhawk fan.
Someone nearby echoed, “you better take a picture of the scoreboard now!”
That turned out to be good advice.
Ohio State won 76-5.
That early safety was one of two times that the Buckeye offense was truly stopped.
The other was the lightning storm that swept over Ohio Stadium, thus ending the game with just under three minutes to go.

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NORTHWESTERN – RYAN FIELD

Ryan Field in Evanston, Illinois is known as the “Wrigley Field” of college football. It doesn’t quite have the history of the Cubs, but boasts a very classic and old school stadium atmosphere. For a while now, NU has been calling themselves Chicago’s Big Ten Team. Attempts to market this slogan are popping up around the city, and the evidence is beginning to show with more rumps in the seats in Evanston.  Perhaps because Chicagoans are slowly realizing that Northwestern is no longer The Big Ten’s little brother.

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Game 288: UNLV @ Northwestern

Two quick-strike rushing touchdowns from Charles Williams and a Chucky doll were the highlights for UNLV on Saturday. It was Northwestern’s moment to bounce back from a lackluster loss at Stanford two weeks ago. Clemson transfer QB Hunter Johnson scored his first career rushing and passing touchdown, thus injecting some hope into an offense full of questions. He did throw one interception, however, which prompted UNLV to introduce the world to Chucky.

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