Campus Corner

KU Gameday: The first time Kansas played South Dakota

Updated: 2013-09-07T17:35:30Z

By RUSTIN DODD

The Kansas City Star

— The headline from the Kansas University Weekly, the school newspaper at the time, read like this: “The Boys Royally Entertained and Made Socials Heroes Too.”

So this is football we’re talking about, in case you were wondering. But this is also from 1900, nearly 113 years ago. It’s been that long since the University of Kansas has faced South Dakota on the football field, a fact that will change on Saturday night, when KU plays host to the Coyotes at 6 p.m. at Memorial Stadium.

So let’s turn back the clock — to one of the best game stories ever written.

On Nov. 3, 1900, Kansas ran roughshod over South Dakota, rolling to a 42-0 victory. The Jayhawks were coming off a 10-0 season in 1899, coached by future Michigan legend Fielding Yost. And some of that momentum must have carried over to the 1900 season.

But when KU traveled to South Dakota, according to the Kansas University Weekly, some of the most noteworthy news was made off the field.

“The (Dakota) girls cheered for Dakota up to the last touch-down,” the newspaper reported, “but after the game their affection was lavished on the Kansas boys.”

The cordial feelings apparently carried into a post-game reception that evening.

“The reception in the evening was a pleasant affair,” the newspaper reported. “The boys say the Dakota girls know more about foot ball (sic) than anyone in Kansas.”

A KU player referred to simply as “Morton”, the paper wrote, didn’t “meet his affinity until just fifteen minutes before time to leave, but he became the lion of the evening in those few minutes.

“Algie got so interested in a pair of blue eyes that he didn’t know when the other fellows left, as he got to the hotel a good half hour late. In short the boys are still raving about the hospitable Dakota people and the girls.”

Yep, 1900. Simpler times.

As we count down to kickoff in Lawrence, here are three more numbers to watch:

• Two. Kansas has lost two of its last 10 home openers. The Jayhawks fell to North Dakota State on Sept. 4, 2010 — Turner Gill’s debut — and they fell 28-20 to Northwestern on Aug. 30, 2003.

• Four. Last season, KU was one of just four schools in Division 1 to have three different players eclipse 100 rushing yards in a game. James Sims rushed for 100 yards in six different games, while Tony Pierson (three) and Taylor Cox (one) both accomplished the feat.

•  0-11. In 2012, KU finished 0-11 when allowing more than 20 points in a game. That, of course, was every game but the season opener, where KU took down South Dakota State 31-17.

To reach Rustin Dodd, call 816-234-4937 or send email to rdodd@kcstar.com. Follow him at twitter.com/rustindodd.

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