2023 Illinois at Kansas football game moved to Friday in primetime

By Kevin Kelley -

The 2023 Illinois Fighting Illini at Kansas Jayhawks football game has been moved to Friday, both schools have officially announced.

The Illinois-Kansas non-conference matchup, originally scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 9, will now be played on Friday, Sept. 8 and the two schools will square off at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium in Lawrence, Kansas. The game will be televised by ESPN2 in primetime at 7:30pm ET / 6:30pm CT.

“This is an incredible opportunity for Kansas Football to be featured on primetime,” Kansas Director of Athletics Travis Goff said. We look forward to showcasing a program on an unrivaled trajectory to a national audience against a high-quality opponent. This is a testament to a new era of KU Football and a group of young men and coaching staff who have worked tirelessly to restore pride and belief in this program. We expect this will be a highly viewed early season game and an outstanding sell-out environment at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium.”

The last time Kansas was selected for a weeknight primetime football game was in 1995 against the TCU Horned Frogs on ESPN.

“We are excited to play a home game in primetime on a night where our players will be seen by a national audience,” head coach Lance Leipold said.

Kansas and Illinois first met on the gridiron in 1892 in Lawrence and have only played five contests overall. In their most recent matchup in 1968, the Jayhawks defeated the Fighting Illini 47-7 in Champaign, Ill., but the Illini still cling to a 3-2 series lead.

Kansas has also changed the date of their season-opening contest at home against the Missouri State Bears. Previously scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 31, the game has been pushed back one day and will now be contested on Friday, Sept. 1. The game will kickoff at 8:00pm ET / 7:00pm CT with streaming coverage by Big 12 Now on ESPN+.

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