Football vs. Iowa State (copy)

Senior safety Mike Lee and freshman linebacker Gavin Potter combine to tackle an Iowa State wide receiver. 

Kansas football will face off against Southern Illinois Aug. 29 at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium for its season-opener, according to a Kansas Athletics press release Saturday

This marks the earliest season opener for Kansas football since 1999, when Kansas played Notre Dame on Aug. 28. 

“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,” Kansas Athletic Director Jeff Long said. “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.”

The Jayhawks were originally slated to go up against New Hampshire to kick off the 2020 season on Sept. 5, before the Colonial Athletic Association announced the suspension of all fall sports competition due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“We are excited for the opportunity to start fall camp practices on July 31 and prepare to take on a good Southern Illinois football team,” Kansas football coach Les Miles said. “We feel that playing this game will prove beneficial for both programs for many reasons, especially due to SIU’s proximity to Lawrence.”