The third season of the David Beaty era finally is here, as the Jayhawks kick off 2017 against Southeast Missouri State. As an added bonus, former KU coach Mark Mangino, and a couple of his star players, Aqib Talib and Anthony Collins, will be inducted into KU's Hall of Fame, as well as the entire 2008 Orange Bowl champions.
Lots of fans already at Memorial Stadium with more than 25 minutes until kickoff.
Which player is everyone most excited to watch tonight? I think the easy answer is Peyton Bender because he's the new QB, but I'll go with Steven Sims. I think he'll get involved early and often in the offense and have a big night.
National anthem is over. Inching toward game time. Still 6 min on the clock.
SEMO lines up in a straight line behind their captains for the coin toss. Old school.
SEMO won the toss and will receive. KU's mysterious QB will have to wait one more series.
One aside before kickoff, Montell Cozart having a nice debut at Boise State, including a TD toss.
After a video board message from Aqib Talib telling the crowd to get loud, Liam Jones kickoff goes for a touchback.
SEMO starts at its own 25.
First play is a QB draw and KU's defensive line was ready. Nice stuff up the middle.
Daniel Wise raises his arms for the crowd to get louder on 3rd-and-9. Then makes a great play running down SEMO's RB from behind.
Steven Sims back to return tonight's first punt. Ball bounces before he can touch it. KU starting at own 19.
Peyton Bender is indeed starting tonight. First pass is a short completion to Jeremiah Booker.
Steven Sims fell down running an out route on 2nd down. 3rd and 6 for KU...
Bender goes right back to Steven Sims, who shakes his cornerback and scores on a 77-yard TD.