Kansas Football To Open Season Against Central Michigan Saturday

Aug. 26, 2007

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QUICKLY — Kansas will open its 118th season of college football when the Jayhawks host Central Michigan in the season lid-lifter for both teams on Saturday, Sept. 1 at 6 p.m… The Jayhawks will also be starting the sixth year of the Mark Mangino era… Kansas has won its season opener in each of the last three years… The last time KU won four straight season openers was 1994-97… KU is opening its season at home for the fifth straight year… KU has won 10 straight home games against non-conference opponents and is 11-2 at home against non-Big 12 foes in the Mangino era… KU is 14-2 in its last 16 home openers… KU is 2-1 in games played all-time on Sept. 1.

WILLIE PLESS TO BE HONORED SATURDAY — Willie Pless, one of the best defensive players, not only in school history, but Big Eight Conference and Canadian Football League history, will have his name added to the University of Kansas Football Ring of Honor on Saturday. The ceremony will take place at halftime. Pless, a standout linebacker for the Jayhawks from 1982-85, will become the 14th player to have his name displayed at the top of the north bowl of Memorial Stadium. Pless has already been inducted in the Kansas Athletics Hall of Fame in 2000 and the Canadian Football League Hall of Fame in 2005. The last player to be added to the Ring was Nolan Cromwell in 2005. John Riggins will be added on Oct. 13.

SATURDAY IS SCOUT NIGHT — All scouts in uniform can purchase $5 tickets at any Memorial Stadium ticket window on game day. Family members and scout leaders can purchase additional tickets for just $25 (normally $35).

FREE NIGHT FOR JUNIOR JAYHAWKS — All Junior Jayhawks will be admitted free with their Jr. Jayhawks membership card. Family members can purchase additional tickets for just $25. Jr. Jayhawks must pickup their complimentary ticket at the Southeast ticket booth.

NEW UNIFORMS AND HELMETS — Kansas football will wear new uniforms and helmets this season. The new look features writing in the University’s Trajan font.

END ZONE FACILITY WORK HAS BEGUN — The Anderson Family Football Complex, a $31 million facility that will house the Kansas football team beginning in 2008, is being built adjacent to the southwest side of Memorial Stadium. The complex will include offices, academic areas, a weight room, locker rooms, an audio-visual room, meeting rooms, a cardio room, a hydro-therapy room, a nutrition area and a display area. In addition, two practice fields will be built just southeast of the stadium as well.

LONG-TIME HOME — For the 87th straight season, Kansas will play home games in Memorial Stadium, whch was built in 1921. The stadium is tied for the seventh oldest in the nation behind Georgia Tech (1913), Mississippi State (1914), Cincinnati (1916), Wisconsin (1917), Oklahoma State (1920), and Washington (1920). Other schools who started play in their current stadiums in 1921 include Stanford and Tennessee.

FOUR STRAIGHT AT HOME — Kansas is opening its season with four straight home games for the first time since the 1986 team opened the year with five consecutive home contests (that team started the year 3-2). The Jayhawks have posted an 11-2 home record in the last two years and are 20-12 in Memorial Stadium in the Mark Mangino era.

UP NEXT — Kansas will play its second straight game at home when the Jayhawks host Southeastern Louisiana on Sept. 8 at 6 p.m. The Jayhawks are playing four straight home games to open the season. The Lions open their year at New Mexico State on Aug. 30.