College football is officially back, and on Sunday night, the eyes of millions will be on the Eyes of Texas.
In a Sunday night showdown, UT will play host to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, looking to exact some revenge from last season's 38-3 drubbing they took in South Bend.
Despite being the underdogs against the 10th-ranked Fighting Irish, UT fans we spoke with are confident and excited for the game.
We found a group huddled outside Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium early Saturday morning that told us they'd been there since 2 a.m. The group - all freshman students - brought drinks, food, a football, chairs, and even blow-up mattresses just to prepare for the tailgate.
They shared what they were most looking forward to.
"First Eyes of Texans. You put the horns up. You start singing with your fellow students, it's going to be amazing," explained Grayson Coker.
"The atmosphere. The energy. I'm really looking forward to being a Longhorn, being part of that whole experience and just kind of feeling the vibe from everyone, the energy that is being a student, tailgating and the whole experience," added another student.
Coker provided us with his breakdown and prediction of the game.
"Notre Dame's good. They got a good running system, good coach, good team. But I think, in the end, UT is going to prevail 27-24. It's going to be a late, late field goal to win it. Late field goal. Mark my words. I'm thinking 44 yards, maybe 45 (yards). But yeah, we're definitely winning. There's zero doubt in my mind," said Coker.
He said that fans are sleeping on the Longhorns.
"We've been under-the-radar for a while here. After Mack left, we went through a couple rough years. But we got two really good recruiting classes in a row. These are Charlie Strong's recruiting classes. So these are his kids. Bringing up through his system. So they're ready to go. They're ready to fight. And we got Malik Jefferson. I think one of the top defensive players in the country, probably a (future) top-five draft pick, a really good secondary. Our running game - it's going to be good," said Coker.
Throughout the morning, a handful of Notre Dame fans also made their way to DKR to check out the stadium and tailgating scene.
The fans we ran to said they expect by noon on Sunday for the lots to be packed with fans preparing for kickoff.
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