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Texas' 2024 season-opener will be another scorcher with a 2:30 p.m. kickoff time

Joe Cookby:Joe Cook05/14/24


For the second year in a row, the Texas Longhorns will open their season in the sweltering summer heat. The program announced on Tuesday that the season-opening matchup with the Colorado State Rams will kick off at 2:30 p.m. and air on ESPN.

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The matchup with the Rams is the second game with a known television airtime and partner on the 2024 slate. Texas’ trip to Michigan the following week on September 7 will begin at 11 a.m. and air on Fox as part of their Big Noon Kickoff coverage.

Last year, Texas opened the season against Rice with a 2:30 p.m. kickoff. Fox sideline reporter Allison Williams reported before the game that the artificial surface of Campbell-Williams Field was over 160 degrees. The official game time temperature was 99 degrees.

Steve Sarkisian has spoken in recent weeks about how important developing depth will be over the course of what could be a 17-game season if the Longhorns reach their goal of playing for a national championship in late January. While depth will be important at the end of the season, it will be soat the beginning of the season too when temperatures in Austin will approach and likely exceed triple digits.

To that point, 70 Longhorns played in the season-opening win over Rice last year.

“I think what’s important is we still have to prepare our team to play on a lot of levels,” Sarkisian said recently at the Touchdown Club of Houston. “I also know how vitally important our depth is, and that we’re going to have to play the bulk of our roster in those first four games. We have to expose our players to playing football.”

The opening game of the Sarkisian era was also an afternoon kick. No. 21 Texas battled No. 23 Louisiana with a 3:30 p.m. kickoff time. The Longhorns won 38-18, issuing the Ragin’ Cajuns their only loss of the 2021 season. Prior to 2021, the most recent daytime kick for a home opener was in 2017 when No. 23 Texas lost 51-41 to the Maryland Terrapins.

In contrast, Colorado State played only one game during the 2023 season where the gametime temperature was at least 90 degrees. The Rams’ season opener against Washington State in Fort Collins, a game they lost 50-24, had a kickoff temperature of 90 degrees at 5 p.m. local time.

Other opening weekend games had their kickoff times announced. College GameDay will broadcast live from College Station when the Notre Dame Fighting Irish travel into Aggieland to take on the Texas A&M Aggies under first-year head coach Mike Elko.

While Texas’ game is on ESPN at 2:30 p.m., the intrastate battle between Miami (Fla.) and Florida will air on ABC at the same time.

The opening game of the Kalen DeBoer era at Alabama against Western Kentucky will air at 6 p.m on ESPN.

To cap Saturday night of week one, the Aggies and the Fighting Irish will kick at 6:30 p.m. on ABC.

On Sunday, September 1, the Vegas Kickoff Classic between USC and LSU will kick at 6:30 p.m. and air on ABC.

To finish the weekend, Florida State hosts Boston College for a Labor Day matchup on ESPN. Kickoff is 6:30 p.m.

The Longhorns are entering their first season as members of the Southeastern Conference in 2024.

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Texas Longhorns 2024 Football Schedule

Aug. 31Colorado State
Sep. 7at Michigan
Sep. 14UT-San Antonio
Sep. 21Louisiana-Monroe
Sep. 28Mississippi State
Oct. 12vs. Oklahoma (Dallas, TX)
Oct. 19Georgia
Oct. 26Vanderbilt
Nov. 9Florida
Nov. 16at Arkansas
Nov. 23Kentucky
Nov. 30at Texas A&M

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