It's been a magical season for the 10-2 Duke football team and in turn, it's been an extraordinary time for Keith Lawrence.
Lawrence has been a Duke football fan since 1995, when he first arrived at Duke and began the first of 19 straight years as a season ticket holder.
"My weekends rise and fall based on the fates of Duke football," said Lawrence, director of media relations with Duke's Office of News and Communications (ONC). "My weekends have been on a nice, steady high for the last eight weeks."
By his estimates, Lawrence has only missed one game at Wallace Wade Stadium over the years and is usually joined in the stands by family and coworker Karl Bates, director of research communications at ONC. This season, Lawrence, his son, Eric, and Bates have been among the many fans to witness Duke have one of its most successful seasons in program history.
"There are some of us who have been fans long enough to remember the really dark years, when the norm was if we won anywhere from zero to two games," Lawrence said. "Coach [David] Cutcliffe has done a fabulous job building up this program."
This weekend, Lawrence and Duke fans around Durham and the country will hope this season's magic continues as the Blue Devils play in the ACC conference championship game at 8 p.m. Saturday against Florida State University. Duke, ranked 20th in the country, will play the top-ranked Seminoles for the right to represent the ACC in the Orange Bowl.
While Lawrence won't be able to make the game in Charlotte -- he'll be visiting family in Florida and watching on TV -- Duke fans can now buy tickets for the game for $40, $70 and $150. Tickets can be purchased at GoDuke.com or by calling the Duke Athletics Ticket Office at (919) 668-9235.
Fans in need of transportation or accommodations can get help from Anthony Travel, Duke Athletics' preferred vendor for the game. Information can be found online or by calling (888) 632-6951.
At the game, the Duke Alumni Association will host a special pregame party from 6 to 8 p.m. at Bank of American Stadium. Tickets are $20 for children 3 to 12 and $40 for 13 years old and up. Children under 3 can enter for free. Each ticket will allow for access to a buffet with hamburgers, tacos, cookies, soda and more. The event will have a cash bar with beer and wine. Tickets can be purchased online.
Even though Duke may be an underdog in their game against national title-hopeful Florida State, Lawrence isn't giving up hope.
"With Coach Cutcliffe and the way he has his team believing in themselves, I think anything is possible," he said.