KU football is playing in the Liberty Bowl; here’s what to know

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The University of Kansas football team has earned bowl eligibility for the first time since 2008, and game day is fast approaching.

The Arkansas Razorbacks, like the Jayhawks, went 6-6 on the season. They’ll face off in hopes of clenching the Liberty Bowl’s Bell Trophy.

Kickoff is set for 4:30 p.m. Central time Wednesday (Dec. 28). The game is at Simmons Bank Liberty Bowl Stadium in Memphis, Tennessee.

The Liberty Bowl marks KU’s 13th bowl appearance, and the first since 2008. The Jayhawks won the Insight Bowl on Dec. 31, 2008, beating Minnesota 42-21. The season prior, KU topped Virginia Tech 24-21 in the Orange Bowl.

“Kansas holds a 6-6 record in Bowl games all-time,” according to KU Athletics. “This year’s game marks Kansas’ first bowl game against an SEC team since the 1981 Hall of Fame Bowl that Kansas dropped 10-0 to Mississippi State.”

Before coming to Kansas, coach Lance Leipold coached the Bulls of the State University of New York at Buffalo to three bowl games during his tenure, which started in 2015. The 2018 team fell to the Troy Trojans 42-32 in the Dollar General Bowl, but the Bulls went on to win the 2019 Bahamas Bowl (vs. Charlotte 49ers, 31-9) and the 2020 Camellia Bowl (vs. Marshall Thundering Herd, 17-10).

The Jayhawks under Leipold improved from a 2-10 record in the 2021 season to 6-6 this year — the most wins the program has seen since 2008.

If you didn’t make plans to travel to Memphis for the game, it may be for the best. Much of the city is without water because of water main breaks, and that has led to many hotel reservations being canceled. Numerous fans have taken to social media to lament their flights being canceled, also. If you made it to “Bluff City,” though, there are plenty of Jayhawk-friendly events planned. Check them out at this link.

Some FAQs:

How can I watch/listen to the game?

Watch: The game will be broadcast on ESPN. Kickoff is set for 4:30 p.m. Central time Wednesday (Dec. 28).

Listen: Fans can listen to the game live on the Jayhawk Radio Network, available at kuathletics.leanplayer.com.

Preceding the game will be the Hawk Talk Liberty Bowl Game Special, set for 6 to 7 p.m. Tuesday (Dec. 27), with Brian Hanni, David Lawrence, Brandon McAnderson and special guests, according to KU Football. If you miss it, you can catch a replay at this link.

On Wednesday, the Crimson and Blue Football Show will start at 3 p.m., followed by the game.

The game will also air on ESPN radio.

Where can I see game stats?

For stats, history and fun facts looking ahead to this bowl game, check out this 67-page media guide from KU. See this link on the KU Athletics website for a full preview of the game.

Live stats will be available at this link during the game.

What is a razorback?

Unlike the mythical Jayhawk, whose magnificence objectively surpasses that of earthly creatures, a razorback “was a lean, feral animal that was ill-tempered.”

Tusk V, the hairy hog that attends all Razorback home football games, is a Russian boar, which closely resembles the wild hogs known as razorbacks native to the Arkansas wilderness,” according to the university’s traditions webpage. “These razorbacks are tough and at times ill-tempered — animals whose fearlessness and doggedness were the inspiration for the Razorback nickname.”

Related: The “Hog Call,” which the University of Arkansas purports to be one of the most recognizable chants in all of sports, involves calling out “Sooie.”

What is the Liberty Bowl?

The Jayhawks and Razorbacks face off in the 64th annual Liberty Bowl. It is one of 41 bowl games this season. Here’s the full lineup of bowl games.

It’s the seventh oldest college bowl game, and “one of the most tradition-rich and patriotic bowl games in America,” according to its website. The trophy is an authentic one-quarter-sized replica of the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia — “It has the same nicked edges, foundry marks, misspelled inscription and even the famous crack,” according to the website.

Learn more about the bowl’s history at this link.

Have questions we didn’t answer? Email us at hello (at) lawrencekstimes (dot) com.

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