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Thursday, May 20, 2021

KU football to open 2021 season with back-to-back Friday night games

Kansas running back Velton Gardner (0) gets past Coastal Carolina safety Mateo Sudipo (13) for a 61-yard touchdown run during the second half of an NCAA college football game in Lawrence, Kan., Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020. Coastal Carolina defeated Kansas 38-23. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

Kansas running back Velton Gardner (0) gets past Coastal Carolina safety Mateo Sudipo (13) for a 61-yard touchdown run during the second half of an NCAA college football game in Lawrence, Kan., Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020. Coastal Carolina defeated Kansas 38-23. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

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Lance Leipold’s first season leading the Kansas football program will now include back-to-back Friday night dates to open the 2021 campaign.

KU announced Thursday that both the home opener versus South Dakota and the Jayhawks’ Week 2 road game at Coastal Carolina have been moved up a day, slightly altering the previously released schedule.

Leipold’s KU debut will come Sept. 3 at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium, with a 7 p.m. kickoff. The Jayhawks’ third meeting with Coastal Carolina in three years will be on Sept. 10, and air on one of ESPN’s networks, with the kickoff time still to be determined.

“It’s going to be a thrill to open up the season under the lights of Memorial Stadium,” Leipold stated in a KU release. “Since I’ve gotten here, the reception and reaction of our fan base has been nothing short of remarkable. Our fans have shown how eager they are to support this program, and I can’t wait for our team to take the field for the first time together on that Friday night against the University of South Dakota.”

KU Athletic Director Travis Goff noted in the release that the 2021 opener will mark the first time since the 2019 season that the football stadium “will be able to be near capacity,” after pandemic protocols limited attendance in 2020.

“Kicking off the season and Labor Day weekend on a Friday night is exactly the type of excitement we’re looking to generate as we build this football program,” Goff said.

KU last played a Friday home game on Black Friday in 2018, closing that season with a loss to Texas. The Jayhawks’ most recent Friday game came at Boston College in 2019, with a nonconference road win.

With the schedule changes, KU won’t play on a Saturday in 2021 until Week 3, when Baylor comes to Lawrence for a Sept. 18 conference game.

2021 KU football schedule

Sept. 3 — South Dakota, 7 p.m.

Sept. 10 — at Coastal Carolina

Sept. 18 — Baylor

Sept. 25 — at Duke

Oct. 2 — at Iowa State

Oct. 9 — Bye week

Oct. 16 — Texas Tech

Oct. 23 — Oklahoma

Oct. 30 — at Oklahoma State

Nov. 6 — Kansas State

Nov. 13 — at Texas

Nov. 20 — at TCU

Nov. 27 — West Virginia

Comments

Edward Daub 5 months, 1 week ago

Myrtle Beach SC on 9/10 sounds pretty inviting to Us KU Alumni on the East Coast.

And 9/25 near the Research Triangle NC smells appetizing too.

Of course, it could all fall apart if KU struggles with South Dakota.

Rock Chalk?

Jeff Coffman 5 months, 1 week ago

Nothing says Hype like two Friday night fights. It'll be a rough first year, but getting some national attention never hurts.

I like the scheduling change.

Rodney Schulz 5 months, 1 week ago

In spite of a new coach with an impressive record, does anyone really believe KU can win a football game? And even if KU pulls off one win from the first two games, does anyone really believe KU can win a big 12 game against a real football program? Maybe KU would have been better off if they would have just shut down the football program.

John Joseph Gorski 5 months, 1 week ago

Starting on Friday nights because our talent level is comparable to HS teams!

Joey Meyer 5 months, 1 week ago

Relax Rodney... it's going to be okay. Have a coffee, sit outside, enjoy some weather... life's too good not to enjoy it every once in awhile.

Jeff Coffman 5 months, 1 week ago

KU football is still very profitable. Closing it down is not the optimal option. KU football still might be more profitable than the basketball program.

I would say that the first two games are going to be competitive and we will likely win one of them. I would say that over the past 10 years, we had very winnable games, but very few in game coaches that could make adjustments to stay on top and win games. I don't know how Leipold will do, but if he puts a game plan together to win a game, it would not be surprising to me, to see him succeed in one of the Big XII games. I don't think we are going bowling in the next year or two, but I don't think Leipold was brought in to fix it overnight (but I hope he does).

Scott Proch 5 months, 1 week ago

Can't say that I see a W anywhere on the schedule. Here's hoping!

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