LAWRENCE, Kan. (KSNW) – After months of preparation, practice and offseason development, the Kansas Jayhawks are set to open the 2022 season on Friday, Sept. 2 at 7 p.m. CT, at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium, when they play host to Tennessee Tech. The game will air on ESPN+.
Friday’s season opener begins year two under Kansas Football head coach Lance Leipold, who brings back nine starters on both sides of the ball. Kansas returns a wealth of experience, including players with a combined 271 career starts, while bringing in a talented group of 14 transfers, who come with 107 FBS starts among them.
Prior to last year’s 17-14 win over South Dakota to open the season, Kansas hadn’t opened the season with a Friday night home game since beating Washburn 47-0 to open the 1944 season. Coach Lance Leipold enters his second season with the Jayhawks and begins his 16th season as a head coach with a career mark of 148-49.
Tennessee Tech is coming off a 3-8 season last year after dropping its first four games of the season. Golden Eagles head coach Dewayne Alexander holds a 12-29 mark while at Tennessee Tech and a career record of 53-62 in 11 seasons.
Offensively, Jalon Daniels will start at quarterback in the opener for the Jayhawks after throwing for 860 yards, seven touchdowns and three interceptions in 2021. He completed 69.2 percent of his passes – up from 50 percent in 2020 – and started the final three games of the season for the Jayhawks. Running Back Devin Neal also returns after leading the team with 707 rushing yards last year and eight rushing scores, while adding seven catches for 57 yards and a touchdown.
Kansas also returns four starters on the offensive line in tackles Earl Bostick Jr., and Bryce Cabeldue, center Mike Novitsky and guard Michael Ford Jr. That group helped Kansas improve its rushing game from 104.9 yards per game in 2020 to 139.3 yards per game in 2021. The Jayhawks also averaged 324.2 yards of total offense behind this group, after averaging 259.2 yards per game of total offense in 2021.
Defensively, Kansas returns its top three leading tacklers in safety Kenny Logan Jr., and linebackers Rich Miller and Gavin Potter.
Kenny Logan Jr. led the Jayhawks with 113 tackles last season, while adding six pass breakups, four tackles for loss, two forced fumbles and one interception. He also served as the primary kick returner for Kansas, averaging 27.9 yards per return. A dynamic playmaker, Logan Jr., was named to the All-Big 12 Preseason Team after a 2nd-Team appearance at the end of last year.
Following Friday night’s season opener against Tennessee Tech, Kansas will take on West Virginia on Saturday, Sept. 10 in Morgantown, West Virginia, in the first Big 12 Conference game of the 2022 season.
Fans can purchase single-game tickets now. In addition to the season opener against Tennessee Tech, Coach Lance Leipold and Kansas will also host ACC foe Duke on Sept. 24, before taking on Big 12 opponents Iowa State, TCU, Oklahoma State and Texas at Memorial Stadium.