KU adds season opener with Southern Illinois

Kansas football
Kansas football(wdtv)
Published: Jul. 25, 2020 at 1:28 PM CDT
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LAWRENCE, Kan. (WIBW) - The University of Kansas football team is adding a season opener against Southern Illinois.

The University of Kansas says its football team is welcoming the Southern Illinois Salukis for its season-opener on Aug. 29 at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium.

Kansas Athletics says the game will be the fourth in the series history between the Jayhawks and the Salukis, with KU holding a 3-0 advantage.

“As we researched options for replacing our canceled opening game, we received recommendations from our medical professionals, reviewed the opportunity with our campus leaders, and looked regionally for a quality opponent,” said Director of Athletics Jeff Long. “Importantly, Southern Illinois agreed to follow the Big 12 testing protocols once they have been finalized. SIU provides us a challenge as we open the 2020 season.” 

“We are excited for the opportunity to start fall camp practices on July 31st and prepare to take on a good Southern Illinois football team,” said Head Coach Les Miles. “We feel that playing this game will prove beneficial for both programs for many reasons, especially due to SIU’s proximity to Lawrence. Coach Hill will have his team prepared to play and we look forward to the challenge at The Booth on August 29th.” 

KU Athletics says the teams first met on the field in 1986 and have faced off three times since, with every game being played in Lawrence. It says the two most recently met in 2000 when KU defeated SIU 42-0 leaving the Jayhawk record at against Illinois 3-0.

KU says the Aug. 29 game will be the earliest played by the Jayhawks since 1999 when they played Notre Dame on Aug. 28.

The Jayhawks say they are 5-4 all-time when playing in August and 73-50-7 in season-openers all-time. 

KU says Southern Illinois is a member of the Missouri Valley Football Conference and have won the 1983 Division I-AA championship and last won the championship in 2009.

Kansas says it opened the 2019 season with another MVFC team, Indiana State as the team ushered in the Les Miles era with a victory of 24-17 on Aug. 31, 2019.

The team says it holds an all-time record of 12-2 against the MVFC.

The Jayhawks say they previously were scheduled to kick off the 2020 season on Sept. 5 against New Hampshire, before the Colonial Athletic Association and New Hampshire suspended their 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

For more information on the KU football team or to see a full schedule visit the Kansas Athletics website.

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