Sunday, September 2, 2012
Kansas coach Charlie Weis talks to reporters following the Jayhawks' 31-17 victory over South Dakota State on Sept. 1, 2012.
KU players talk following their 31-17 win over SDSU on Sept. 1, 2012.
So far, Charlie Weis says he’s happy with Kansas’ newest football tradition.
The KU football players — as promised — made their way over in front of the student section following their 31-17 victory over South Dakota State on Saturday, where they sang the alma mater with the KU students still there.
“I was generally very pleased that there were enough students there, and the band came out there,” Weis said. “Being over there for that, that’s what I’m hoping for. It’ll just get better.”
KU’s players seemed to enjoy celebrating with their fellow classmates.
Senior safety Bradley McDougald, who had two interceptions and six tackles, was the first one over, waving his hands in the air to pump up the crowd.
KU students — about half remained from the start of the game — also streamed down the aisles to be closer to the team.
“If you looked at our players, they genuinely had joy in their face,” Weis said. “Then you looked at the student body … they enjoyed connecting with the football players.”
The KU band members even rushed to the field to make sure the alma mater could be heard clearly.
“Some of the tuba players might be mad, because they’re still coming out of the stands when they started playing right there,” Weis said with a smile. “I thought it was a good start. It was a pretty good experience.”
KU senior Toben Opurum agreed.
“It was a lot of fun, because we haven’t done anything like that before,” Opurum said. “We’re glad a lot of the student section remained to the end, and we were able to interact with the crowd. It was a lot of fun, and it really helped us enjoy the victory that we had.”
Weis reiterated that it would be an every-game tradition.
“The problem is, you lose, you go over there, and there might not be anyone you’re singing with,” Weis said. “But I don’t think you can be hypocritical. I think if you’re going to do it, you should be doing it no matter what. That’s why I keep on encouraging students to be around there for it, because it makes it that much better.”
Overall, Weis said he was pleased with the atmosphere during his first game at Memorial Stadium.
“I think that the only time that it got quiet was deservedly so, because I thought there were periods of the game where we were flat,” Weis said. “Like I said to the players on the sideline, ‘Hey fellas, you’ve got to create the juice now,’ because there were times it was really loud and the fans were going nuts, and there were times it was really quiet. Usually those quiet times were directly related to how we were playing.”