Kansas Football Opens New Era Saturday
Sept. 3, 2010
LAWRENCE, Kan. –
GAME NO. 1 VS. NORTH DAKOTA STATE
Kansas Game Day Central
Saturday, Sept. 4, 2010, 6 p.m. (Central)
Memorial Stadium (50,071) – Lawrence, Kan.
Jayhawk Network (32 stations in 27 markets)
Bob Davis, David Lawrence, Nate Bukaty, Bob Newton [producer]
Sirius – ch.127, XM – ch. 232
Fox College Sports Central (Steve Physioc, Yogi Roth, Samantha Steele)
(also available on DirecTV 623)
1-800-34-HAWKS or (785) 864-3141
2010 KU CAPTAINS
#16 CB Chris Harris
#22 RB Angus Quigley
#45 LB Justin Springer
#59 OL Sal Capra
#91 DE Jake Laptad
– 2010 Kansas Roster
– 2010 Kansas Depth Chart
– Kansas Game Notes
– Tuesday Press Conference Quotes
– Jayhawks in the Pros
– Two-Minute Drill: CB Barfield
– Q&A: S. Johnson
North Dakota State Information
– 2010 NDSU Roster
– 2010 NDSU Depth Chart
While the new era in Kansas football officially started back in December, Saturday marks the dawning of Head Coach Turner Gill’s tenure at KU. Gill and Jayhawk fans alike hope Gill’s tenure will include several bowl games and perhaps a conference championship, however in the short term, they will both take a win in the 2010 season opener against North Dakota State.
The Jayhawks will take on the Bison at 6 p.m. Saturday evening at Memorial Stadium in a matchup of two teams looking to turn the page on disappointing seasons last year.
NDSU finished 4-7 in 2009, after enjoying back-to-back winning seasons in the previous two years. This included a magical 2007 season which saw the Bison go 10-1 and win games at two FBS opponents: Central Michigan and Minnesota.
Gill’s job is similar to NDSU coach Craig Bohl’s this season. The Kansas head coach is trying to get the Jayhawks to forget about the final two months of last season, which saw KU finish 5-7 after starting the season with five-straight victories.
KU’s new head coach has experience turning football programs around. Gill came to Kansas from the University of Buffalo, where he turned a downtrodden program into a conference champion, and led the Bulls to their first bowl game in school history.
Gill brought on a top-notch coaching staff, which has a combined 77 bowl appearances among them, including himself and offensive coordinator Chuck Long and offensive line coach J.B. Grimes, who have all coached in national championship games.
While the team lost several veteran players to graduation, the cupboard is far from bare. Kansas returns 39 lettermen from last season, including 17 starters. Sophomore offensive tackle Tanner Hawkinson and sophomore safety Lubbock Smith, who were both Freshmen All-Americans last season. Senior defensive end Jake Laptad and punter Alonso Rojas were also All-Big 12 Honorable Mention picks a year ago.
The Jayhawks will feature an entirely new backfield with sophomore Kale Pick taking the reigns at quarterback, and senior Angus Quigley moving back to running back. Both players have shown potential to do big things for the team this season. Pick was the team’s backup quarterback a year ago, while Quigley saw time at running back early in his career, before being moved to the defensive side of the ball in 2009.
Senior wide receiver Jonathan Wilson and junior tight end Tim Biere provide the young quarterback with veteran weapons at his disposal.
On defense, KU features a senior-laden secondary with seniors Chris Harris and Olatian Oguntodu expected to start at cornerback and strong safety respectively. The Jayhawks also feature Smith at free safety and junior Isiah Barfield at the left cornerback position.
Gill will be looking to win his debut for the second time with a new team. The Kansas head coach earned a 9-3 overtime win over Temple in his first game at Buffalo on Aug. 31, 2006. If Gill should lead the Jayhawks to a win over NDSU Saturday, it would also mark the first Kansas coach to win his debut since Terry Allen in 1997.