Kansas Football Gets Private Screening Of "The Express"

Aug. 19, 2008

LAWRENCE, Kan. – The Kansas football team took a break from training camp and enjoyed a special screening of the yet to be released movie “The Express” on Monday night. The movie is based on the true story of college football hero Ernie Davis, the first African-American to win the Heisman Trophy.

The story of Davis, who excelled at Syracuse, has ties with the Kansas football program as Davis’ first collegiate game was against the Jayhawks in 1959. Syracuse posted a 35-21 win in that contest as Davis rushed 10 times for 30 yards.

Syracuse went on to an 11-0 season and a national championship that year. The 21 points Kansas scored on the Orangemen were the most they would give up all season.

Davis also played against KU in 1960, as Syracuse was ranked second in the nation and Kansas fifth. Syracuse claimed a 14-7 win at Lawrence that year as the talented running back ran for 123 yards on 17 attempts.

In addition, John Hadl, a standout quarterback at Kansas, finished seventh in the Heisman Trophy voting in 1961, the same season Davis claimed the prestigious honor as college football’s top player.

Davis broke Jim Brown’s school career records for rushing yards (2,386), points (220) and touchdowns (35).

The Jayhawks attended the movie at Hollywood Theatre South Wind 12 in Lawrence, Kan. courtesy of Universal Pictures. The movie is scheduled for release in early October.

“”The Express” was both inspiring and educational,” said Kansas head football coach Mark Mangino. “It is a movie not just for sports fans, but for everyone. It was outstanding.”