Oklahoma Moves 2024 Home Opener to Friday Night

The Sooners will open the 2024 season in prime time on ESPN after a schedule change moved the contest forward one day.
NATHAN J. FISH/THE OKLAHOMAN / USA TODAY

Oklahoma’s 2024 football season will kick off on Friday.

After discussions with ESPN, the Sooners moved the season-opening contest against Temple up one day to August 30, OU officially announced on Tuesday. 

ESPN will air the game, and it will kick off at 6 p.m. as the first Friday night game ever played at Gaylord Family - Oklahoma Memorial Stadium.

"We were asked to consider moving up the season opener by a day so ESPN could televise our first game as a member of the SEC in a primetime window," University of Oklahoma Vice President and Director of Athletics Joe Castiglione said in a press release. "It's a unique and exciting opportunity for us, as it will be our first Friday night game in the history of Gaylord Family – Oklahoma Memorial Stadium and will give our team tremendous visibility nationally. Another major plus is, given the kick time, our players and fans should benefit from a cooler temperature.

"It's reasonable to expect that playing in the evening will significantly mitigate some of the heat issues we typically deal with during early season day games. Our first-ever 'Friday Night Lights' will undoubtedly be one for the books, and we're excited to open the season and our first year in the SEC in such a spectacular fashion."

The Sooners hope that any arrangements made to attend the game will be flexible for the Labor Day Weekend contest. 

"We recognize this schedule change will impact travel plans for some fans,” Castiglione said. “We ask hotels in our area to work closely with those individuals to accommodate the move from a Saturday game to a Friday night contest."

OU closed the 2023 regular season on Friday against TCU, which was the program’s final Big 12 Conference game. 

Oklahoma will officially join the SEC on July 1, 2024.

As a program, the Sooners are 10-6 in Friday games since World War II. Ten of those contests were played against Nebraska. 


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Ryan Chapman

RYAN CHAPMAN

Ryan is deputy editor at AllSooners and covers a number of sports in and around Norman and Oklahoma City. Working both as a journalist and a sports talk radio host, Ryan has covered the Oklahoma Sooners, the Oklahoma City Thunder, the United States Men’s National Soccer Team, the Oklahoma City Energy and more. Since 2019, Ryan has simultaneously pursued a career as both a writer and a sports talk radio host, working for the Flagship for Oklahoma sports, 107.7 The Franchise, as well as AllSooners.com. Ryan serves as a contributor to The Franchise’s website, TheFranchiseOK.com, which was recognized as having the “Best Website” in 2022 by the Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters. Ryan holds an associate’s degree in Journalism from Oklahoma City Community College in Oklahoma City, OK.