Report: KU to host Coastal Carolina in lone nonconference football game of 2020

Kansas running back Pooka Williams Jr. tries to find an opening against Coastal Carolina Saturday night at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium on Sept. 7, 2019.

Kansas running back Pooka Williams Jr. tries to find an opening against Coastal Carolina Saturday night at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium on Sept. 7, 2019.

Thursday, August 13, 2020

A Wednesday report from The Southern Illinoisan indicated that the Kansas football program will host Coastal Carolina on Sept. 12 in the Jayhawks' lone nonconference game of 2020.

During a Wednesday Zoom call with local media members, KU AD Jeff Long confirmed the Sept. 12 date of KU's season opener but did not reveal the opponent because the contract was not yet in hand.

Long said KU and its Week 1 opponent had a verbal agreement and that he expected to receive the signed contract later Wednesday or sometime Thursday.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic forcing the Big 12 to rework its 2020 schedules, KU was scheduled to travel to Coastal Carolina on Sept. 26 for a return game with the Chanticleers, who defeated KU in Lawrence in 2019.

After its original season opener on Sept. 5 with New Hampshire was eliminated because of UNH's decision to cancel its fall sports seasons, Long worked quickly to secure an Aug. 29 opener with Southern Illinois in a week zero game that required a petition from the NCAA to schedule.

However, when the Big 12 revised its scheduling plans to start all competition after Sept. 1, the status of that game became uncertain.

SIU AD Liz Jarnigan told The Southern Illinoisan on Wednesday that KU picked Coastal Carolina as its Week 1 foe when CCU lost its Sept. 12 game against MAC opponent Eastern Michigan.

"In order to play us, one of the things that Kansas had done was eliminate their game against Coastal Carolina because they were limited to just one home game," Jarnigan told The Southern Illinoisan. "When Coastal Carolina lost the MAC game, they came back to Kansas and asked to flip-flop the home-and-home series with them, so, that's what they're doing."

KU's 2021 schedule has the Jayhawks slated to host Coastal Carolina on Sept. 11, 2021.

Jarnigan told The Southern Illinoisan that there were no hard feelings about the schedule change between SIU and Kansas, adding, "that was the best option for them. ... We will likely schedule them again as a result of this anyway."

Coastal Carolina, which finished 5-7 in 2019, plays in the Sun Belt Conference, which recently changed its 2020 scheduling plans to allow eight conference games and four nonconference games for its 10 members.