Several Duke basketball players flooded to Wallace Wade Stadium on Saturday night.
Typically people are lining up for days to get into Cameron Indoor Stadium for a Duke basketball game but it was the football program that took center stage on Saturday night when the Blue Devils hosted No. 11 Notre Dame.
ESPN’s College GameDay was in Durham for the first time ever and prior to the primetime kickoff on ABC, several member of the basketball program made their way into Wallace Wade Stadium.
The entire current roster took its seats in the first row of the stadium and they were joined by two former players in Paolo Banchero and Mark Williams.
Williams attended Duke’s practice on Friday and appeared during a segment of College GameDay on Saturday alongside his sister, Elizabeth, who was a superstar for the women’s basketball program.
Banchero, back in the United States after competing in the FIBA World Cup for Team USA, was fully draped in Duke gear as he tried to spur the Blue Devils on to a historic victory.
Basketball players were even in the Blue Devil tunnel wishing the football team good luck before they took the field against the Fighting Irish.
Duke trailed 13-0 midway through the third quarter but would rally to take a 14-13 lead with 9:17 remaining in the fourth.
The Blue Devils had a chance to expand its lead in the final two minutes of the game but were forced to punt and one major defensive miscue allowed Notre Dame to extend its drive and, eventually, rattle off a 30-yard touchdown rush to reclaim the lead, 21-14.
Quarterback Riley Leonard was injured with 27 seconds remaining as he tried to lead Duke down the field and tie the game as he left the field on crutches and unable to put weight on his right ankle.
Duke basketball continues to be present at football games
It is not uncommon for Duke basketball players to be present at football games, in fact, it has been one of the biggest stories of the offseason for the Blue Devils.
Naturally, the entire game was in the crowd on opening night when the Clemson Tigers came into Wallace Wade Stadium and were stunned by Mike Elko’s team, but the biggest game that the squad attended was the matchup against Northwestern.
Duke hosted 5-star guard Kon Knueppel on September 16 for an official visit and he, along with members of the team and assistant coach Emmanuel Dildy, were at the game in which Duke won 38-14.
Knueppel committed to the Blue Devils just days after the visit.
However, with the basketball season quickly approaching there may not be many more opportunities to see the Duke players around Wallace Wade Stadium for the remaining three home games.