Kansas Adds Southern Illinois for Season Opener on Aug. 29


LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas football will welcome the Southern Illinois Salukis to David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium for its season-opener on Aug. 29, Kansas Athletics announced today. The game will be the fourth in the series history between the two teams, with the Jayhawks holding a 3-0 advantage.

“As we researched options for replacing our cancelled 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.”

Kansas and Southern Illinois first met on the gridiron in 1986 and have faced each other three times overall, with each game played in Lawrence. The two schools met most recently in 2000 and Kansas defeated SIU 42-0 to improve their record against the Salukis to 3-0.

The Aug. 29 matchup between the Jayhawks and the Salukis will be the earliest game of the season that KU has played in since 1999, when Kansas took on Notre Dame on Aug. 28. The Jayhawks are 5-4 all-time when playing in the month of August and 73-50-7 in season-openers all-time.

Southern Illinois is a member of the Missouri Valley Football Conference (MVFC), where they won the 1983 Division I-AA championship in 1983 and last won the MVFC championship in 2009.

Kansas opened its 2019 season with another MVFC team, Indiana State, as the Jayhawks opened the Les Miles era with a 24-17 victory on Aug. 31, 2019. Kansas holds an all-time record of 12-2 against the MVFC.

The Jayhawks were previously scheduled to take on New Hampshire to kick off the 2020 season on Sept. 5, before the Colonial Athletic Association and New Hampshire suspended the fall 2020 competition season due to concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.

More information, including kickoff time and television broadcast will be announced at a later date. For a full Kansas football schedule, click here.

Derek Nester
Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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