KU football to host virtual spring game in place of regular event

Kansas defensive coordinator D.J. Eliot works on technique with linebacker Najee Stevens-McKenzie during practice on Friday, Aug. 9, 2019.

Kansas defensive coordinator D.J. Eliot works on technique with linebacker Najee Stevens-McKenzie during practice on Friday, Aug. 9, 2019.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

A handful of University of Kansas football coaches are stepping up to fill the void left by the cancellation of spring practices and this year’s spring game, which had been slated for Saturday.

Friday night, the KU football program will host a virtual spring game, with Late Night Under the Lights heading online instead of to David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium.

KU’s coaches will square off on the program’s social media channels in a variety of challenges inspired by the television game show “Minute to Win It.”

The coaches will be split into two teams — offense and defense — and will compete for points instead of touchdowns and field goals.

Voice of the Jayhawks Brian Hanni and color analyst David Lawrence will call the competition, and fans can follow along on social media.

At 2 p.m. Saturday, when the spring game was originally supposed to take place, KU has worked out a deal with FOX4 Kansas City and FOX43 Topeka to rebroadcast the 2008 Orange Bowl.

The No. 8 Jayhawks completed their magical 2007 season with a win over No. 5 Virginia Tech in Miami, 24-21. The win moved KU to 12-1 on the season and still stands as one of the biggest wins in program history.

In conjunction with the broadcast, several members of that team have organized a private Zoom reunion to watch the game, swap memories and celebrate their achievement one more time.

Special teams standout Micah Brown came up with the idea and he told the Journal-World he had heard back from more than 50 members of the team by midday Thursday.

He even reached out to former Kansas coach Mark Mangino about giving some kind of online pregame speech.

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