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University of Oklahoma Athletics

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NORMAN – University of Oklahoma vice president and athletics director Joe Castiglione announced Tuesday that OU's football opener of the 2024 season against Temple in Norman will now be played on Friday, Aug. 30, one day earlier than originally scheduled. The contest kicks off at 6:00 p.m. CT and the game will be televised by ESPN.

“We have been asked to consider moving the season opener up a day so that ESPN can televise our first game as a member of the SEC in a prime-time timeslot,” Castiglione said. “It is a unique and exciting opportunity for us as it will be our first Friday night game in Gaylord Family – Oklahoma Memorial Stadium history and will provide our team with tremendous national exposure. Another big plus, given the kick time, is our players and the fans should benefit from a cooler temperature. Playing in the evening is expected to significantly alleviate some of the heat issues we typically deal with during early-season games in the books, and we're looking forward to starting the season and our first year in the SEC on such a note spectacular way to open.

Heat indexes in Norman for OU's last three season-opening games reached 93 degrees in 2023, 96 degrees in 2022 and 105 degrees in 2021. Three of the last four years have produced a heat index high of at least 98 degrees on August 31 in Norman .

Castiglione added: “We recognize that this schedule change will impact some fans’ travel plans. We ask hotels in our region to work closely with these individuals to facilitate the transition from a Saturday game to a Friday evening competition.”

The Sooners, who will officially join the SEC on July 1, have a 60-19-2 (.753) record in Friday games (including a 2-4 record in bowl games) but have just five regular-season contests contested on Friday evening. All on the road and all the wins.

Since World War II, Oklahoma has played 16 regular-season Friday games and is 10-6 in those games. Ten of those 16 games and the Sooners' only six losses came against Nebraska. OU beat NU on Fridays in 1973, 1976, 1977 and 1990 and lost to the Huskers in 1982 and every year from 1991 to 1995. The Sooners' other Friday wins since 1945 came at Detroit in 1947 (Bud Wilkinson's first game as OU head coach), at Miami (Florida) in 1975, at Tulsa in 2002 and 2007, at West Virginia in 2018 and against TCU in the 2018 regular season finale last year.

Oklahoma, entering its third season under head coach Brent Venableshas won 18 straight home openers.