Hopeful Kansas football coach Lance Leipold says Jayhawks 'need a great crowd' Saturday vs. Oklahoma State
It’s been a few weeks since football fans in Lawrence made it their mission to Pack the Booth and fill up David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium for the surprising Jayhawks’ home games.
And even though Kansas has lost three games in a row since its last campaign to sell out the home stadium, head coach Lance Leipold said Monday he was hopeful that his team has shown KU fans enough to make them want to keep showing up.
“I hope (it’s) another great crowd; we need a great crowd," Leipold said. “Again, I hope for the future of this program, as we continue to work to build winning consistently in this program, that it’s not undefeated records that get us to fill this place. Because there’d be a lot of non-filled stadiums across college football (if that were the case).”
The Jayhawks were 3-0 heading into their first home sellout of the season against Duke, and they followed that up by selling out the stadium at 4-0 for the Iowa State game and 5-0 for the ESPN College GameDay showdown with TCU.
Kansas (5-3 overall, 2-3 Big 12) lost to TCU that day and went on to lose back-to-back road games at Oklahoma and Baylor before last week’s bye week. So, there’s no doubt that some of the shine has been knocked off since that exhilarating 5-0 run to open the season.
But this is still rarefied air for the KU football program and, if anything, one would think that Kansas fans might actually feel like showing up even more right now, to serve as a factor in KU’s quest for that sixth win for bowl eligibility.
That’s certainly what Leipold is wanting to see in the month of November, when KU will host two more home games, Saturday vs. No. 18 Oklahoma State and Nov. 19 vs. Texas.
“I still hope that people are excited,” Leipold said Monday. “And though the wins of late haven't been there, the competitive nature of this football team for four quarters is something that I hope our fans are respecting and enjoying and will want to come out and support.”
The reason Leipold is hoping for KU’s huge home crowds to continue goes way beyond wanting Kansas fans to have something to feel good on Saturdays. He actually has concrete proof that their presence as the Jayhawks’ 12th man has made a difference.
"One of our assistants talked to one of the opposing coaches of one of the three sellout games we had," Leipold said Monday. "And they talked about the fact that they did not prepare for crowd noise and it was a factor in the game. So, to think that our fans can make a difference, 100%. Absolutely. And we need them there.”
As of Monday night, plenty of tickets for Saturday’s game were available on third-party ticket sites, so it appears as if the Kansas fan base has some work left to do if it wants to sell out Memorial Stadium for the fourth consecutive home game.
Kansas entered the week as a 3-point underdog to the Cowboys, who are coming off of a 48-0 loss to Kansas State last weekend in Manhattan.