BEREA, Ohio — It may not be their job, but any passing mention of the University of Maryland or the University of South Carolina brings some pulses racing.
University of Maryland students straggle to campus for football practice.
The South Carolina fans have been gathering at Texas Tech University’s stadium since Saturday morning to root on their home team — in this case, a South Carolina student named Chaley Abril.
Ms. Abril said she signed up for a “large group text message” asking other participants if they planned to fly out to Lubbock to watch the game. About 150 sent back their attendance plan. The teams play on Saturday.
“Everyone is definitely planning on going,” she said.
The last time the teams met in a nonconference game, they canceled a game in part because of the possible complications involved in flying teams back and forth across the country. But that game was played last season. This year, the schools scheduled it for a time when everybody — students, staff, and alumni — would be much more focused on their own schedules.
A television studio at the Hirsch Coliseum, where Maryland plays its home games. Photo by Liz Robbins
“It’s a neat alternative,” Maryland athletic director Damon Evans said. “Being the end of the year, we needed a more unique [opportunity].”
Both schools are trying to make the game more compelling, one by shifting the venue to an out-of-the-way venue, the smaller Lubbock Municipal Stadium, while the other is deploying technology meant to encourage the crowd to create a bigger buzz.
The Maryland football team visited local businesses on Friday for promotional video shoot and promotional appearances.
“The athletes are very involved with the community,” said Mike Davis, Maryland’s assistant director of external relations. “On game day, they enjoy interacting with the fans, with the media, with all of us.”
But the team has had a lack of success this season, losing two straight to Princeton and Pittsburgh, which ended Maryland’s undefeated season last year.
“We know it’s going to be hard,” Mr. Davis said. “We don’t have much time before that game.”
South Carolina football fans turned out to Texas Tech’s new stadium in Lubbock, Texas, for Saturday’s game.