Who: Southeast Missouri State Redhawks (0-0)
Where: Memorial Stadium, Lawrence, KS
When: Saturday, September 2, 2017, 6:00pm CT.
How to Watch: Jayhawk TV/WatchESPN
If there was such thing as sure fire win for Kansas football, it is Saturday’s game against Southeast Missouri State. Last year SEMO went 3-8. The year before? 4-7. In fact, since 2011 the Redhawks are just 21-56, which is something KU football fans can relate to. I also forgot to mention SEMO plays at the FCS level, so while KU might not get too many wins this season, they are more than capable of defeating a low-level FCS school. Also the Redhawks have not beaten an FBS school since 2002 when they took down Middle Tennessee State.
Redhawks to Watch
- Chad Meredith – LB – Meredith is a preseason All-OVC pick. He was a first team All-OVC in 2016, collecting 86 tackles, including 10.5 tackles for loss.
- Jesse Hosket – QB – Hosket found himself on the All-OVC Newcomer Team last season. He threw for 2,322 yards and 11 touchdowns, but also threw seven interceptions
- Cameron Sanders- RB – Like Meredith, Sanders was also a preseason All-OVC pick this year as a return specialist. He’s returned kicks for touchdowns in each of the last two seasons. He currently is the all-time leader in SEMO history in kick return average at 28.3. Last season Sanders racked up 1,010 all-purpose yards. He should see more carries this year.
- How will Peyton Bender look at quarterback? – The Washington State transfer is slated to start for the Jayhawks on Saturday. Coming from a pass happy offense at WSU, Bender should have some familiarity with KU’s offense. Bender beat out Carter Stanley, who suffered a hand injury, for the QB job. Stanley provided some spark late last season when he took over the starting reigns. All reports say that Bender has looked great in fall camp, and according to Tom Keegan of the Lawrence Journal-World, KU should have their best QB play in years.
- Weapons, weapons and more weapons – Bender and new offensive coordinator Doug Meachem will have weapons aplenty at his disposal. The Jayhawks return junior wide receiver Steven Sims Jr., who is the Big 12’s top returning receiver in terms of receptions. Sims paced KU last season with 859 yards on 72 catches. Aside from Sims, Bender has options in Bobby Hartzog Jr., Jeremiah Booker, Tyler Patrick, Chase Harrell, Daylon Charlot, Evan Fairs and Quan Hampton. Taylor Martin and Kahlil Herbert will provide KU’s ground game. The duo combined for 513 yards a season ago.
- 2007 Orange Bowl team to honored – Believe it or not, its been TEN! seasons since KU’s memorable 2007 season. That team will be honored at halftime of Saturday night’s game. Head coach Mark Mangino will be inducted into KU’s Hall of Fame
Kansas 53 – Southeast Missouri State 10
SEMO returns just four players from an offense that was the worst in OVC last season. Kansas likely isn’t going to win more than three games this year, but we should start to see some signs of life from this program in year three of the David Beaty regime. I like KU’s air raid attack to score big on Saturday, just don’t get used to it because the competition will be considerably better from here on out.