Jayhawks Host FAU in Season-Opener

Aug. 31, 2005

Kansas (0-0) opens the 2005 football campaign on Saturday as the team hosts Florida Atlantic (0-0) in the season-opener for both clubs. Kickoff is set for 6:05 p.m. at KU’s Memorial Stadium. The Jayhawks are 1-2 in season-openers during Mark Mangino’s tenure at Kansas (last year KU defeated Tulsa 21-3). In addition, the Jayhawks have won five of their last six home-openers dating back to the 1999 season.

“You want to get off to a good start in your first game, especially when you’re playing at home,” said Mangino during his weekly press conference with the media on Tuesday afternoon. “We’re going to have to earn it though. This Florida Atlantic team will come in here ready to play, but we will too.”

After a record-setting offensive display during the 2003 season, last year’s club showcased the team’s best defense in nearly a decade. Jayhawk fans hope the two components will join forces in 2005 and lift the team to its first-ever Big 12 North title. Defensively, the Jayhawks will be strong once again as the team returns four of its five top tacklers from last season, including senior linebacker Nick Reid who led the team and finished second in the Big 12 with 109 total stops. Reid spearheads an experienced and talented linebacking corps which also returns senior starters Kevin Kane (69 tackles in 2004) and Banks Floodman (47 tackles in 2004).

Offensively, the Jayhawks return several veteran quarterbacks, an experienced line and a talented group of players at the skill positions. Junior quarterback Adam Barmann was named the team’s starter earlier this week.

“His (Barmann’s) performance on the practice field has been very good,” said Mangino. “He’s a better football player today than he was last season. He’s healthy, throwing the ball very well, and has a much better command of the offense. Naming him the starter was based on his performance. He has certainly worked hard to get ready for this season.”

Florida Atlantic, a member of the Sun Belt Conference, heads to Lawrence for the first-ever meeting between the two teams. FAU is no stranger to tough road games as the Owls travelled to Honolulu, Hawaii, last season and defeated Hawaii 35-28 in overtime in their season-opener. The following week, FAU knocked off North Texas 20-13 in Denton, Texas. In fact, the Owls started the season with five-straight wins on the road, also topping Middle Tennessee, Texas State and Northern Colorado.

Tickets to the game can be purchased by calling 800-34-HAWKS or by visiting kuathletics.com.