Kansas University Marching Band members will travel in groups today when they play at Kansas State University's stadium in Manhattan.
It's the only way to protect themselves from rowdy Wildcat fans, said KU senior and alto saxophonist Lori Neuman.
"We have a piece of the uniform that hangs down, one on each side. We call them wings," Neuman said. "We have to tuck them inside because people yank us down by them.
It could be worse.
When band members went to the University of Missouri in 1998, they were pelted with ice and glass bottles, Neuman said.
"We don't go there anymore."
Neuman said she was excited about today's game because it would be KU's best chance in years to beat its in-state rival, which has been in an uncharacteristic slump so far this season.
"I want us to win, but I want us to get out alive," she said.
KU fans won't be the only ones making the trek to Manhattan today. Wildcat fans are rampant in Jayhawk country, and they don't like to miss this game, said Dorothy Congrove, secretary of the Lawrence Area Catbackers.
"The roads are always full," she said. "You get out on those roads and the cars all have purple on them and flags are flying."
Congrove, a Kansasa State alumna who's been attending home games in Manhattan consistently since 1991, said KU would be tough competition.
"I think K-State should win, could win, and we'll be cheering for them to win," she said. "We have been struggling, but maybe they've got it together."
Kansas State fans who can't make the drive to Manhattan may gather in Lawrence for "watch parties," but KU Public Safety Lt. Schuyler Bailey said he wasn't too concerned about people executing the traditional pranks associated with the rivalry putting purple dye in the Chi Omega fountain or painting purple paw prints on Jayhawk Boulevard.
"When the game is away," he said, "we really don't have any trouble."