Here We Come
GAME 2: Kennesaw State (1-0) vs Edward Waters (2-1) DATE: Saturday, Sept. 12 at 4 p.m. LOCATION:…
Georgia (Sep 10, 2015) —
DATE: Saturday, Sept. 12 at 4 p.m.
LOCATION: Fifth Third Bank Stadium | Kennesaw, Ga.
WATCH: WUPA-TV Atlanta CW69 | Jon Nelson (PxP) | DJ Shockley (Analyst) | Ashley Rose (Sideline)
LISTEN: Audio | Brian Giffin (PxP) | Tutan Reyes (Analyst) | Art Eckman (Sideline)
LINKS: Big South Network | Live Stats | Game Notes (KSU) |Twitter | #WitnessKSU
MEDIA: Media Center | Information Guide | Roster | Owls Insight Podcast | Photo Blog at ETSU
SERIES HISTORY: Inaugural Home Game
LAST MEETING: First Meeting
THIS WEEK: Following an historic victory in its inaugural game over East Tennessee State last
week, Kennesaw State (1-0) will make more history on Saturday (Sept. 12) when it hosts
NAIA opponent Edward Waters (2-1) Saturday in its first home game at Fifth Third Bank
Kickoff for the sold out game is slated for 4 p.m. and will be televised locally on WUPA-TV (Atlanta's CW69). Jon Nelson (play-by-play), D.J. Shockley (analyst) and Ashley Rose (sideline) will describe the action. The contest will also be streamed on the Big South Network.
An audio broadcast will be available at www.KSUOwls.com with Brian Giffin, Tutan Reyes and Art Eckman reporting on the action.
GAME DAY CENTRAL: A Game Day Central page has been created at www.KSUOwls.com/gameday where fans and media can find all information pertaining to game day.
THE MARCHING OWLS DEBUT: Adding to the pageantry of the first home game will be The Marching Owls, Kennesaw State's marching band. The roughly 300 musicians and color guard members are under the direction of Debra Traficante.
BOHANNON MAKES SUCCESSFUL HEAD COACHING DEBUT: Brian Bohannon made a successful head coaching debut last week at East Tennessee State as the Owls recorded an impressive 56-16 victory over the Buccaneers in Johnson City, Tenn.
OWLS PLAY AT FCS LEVEL: Kennesaw State will play at the Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) level. KSU joined the Big South Conference as an associate member on Sept. 4, 2013.
A LOOK AHEAD: The Owls will be back in action Saturday, Sept. 19, when they host Division II opponent Shorter at Fifth Third Bank Stadium beginning at 1 p.m.
DEBUT PROGRAMS IN 2015: Kennesaw State is one of four institutions who have debuted football in 2015. Along with the Owls, East Tennessee State (FCS), Finlandia University (Division III), located in Hancock, Mich. and Lyon College (NAIA) in Batesville, Ark. started football programs this fall.
A LOOK BACK: Kennesaw State wrote a compelling opening chapter to its history with a dominant 56-16 victory East Tennessee State on Sept. 3. The Owls rolled up 512 yards of offense, including 416 on the ground. Seven different KSU players found the end zone as the Owls scored 49 unanswered points in building a 56-13 lead. Redshirt junior quarterback Trey White scored the first TD in program history and connected with redshirt freshman Justin Sumpter on a 69-yard scoring play, while redshirt running back Jae Bowen scored on runs of 2 and 1 yards. Redshirt defensive lineman Nick Perrotta had the game-changing play of the game, intercepting a pass late in the second quarter and returning it 19 yards for a touchdown.
A NIGHT OF FIRSTS: Thursday's 56-16 win over East Tennessee State marked a night of firsts in the history of the Kennesaw State football program. Here is a list of a few of the firsts:
• First Offensive Play: Trey White 4-yard rush
• First Touchdown: Trey White 6-yard run (1st quarter)
• First Passing Touchdown: White 69 yards to Justin Sumpter (3rd quarter)
• First Defensive Tackle: Taylor Henkle (1st quarter)
• First Defensive Touchdown: Nick Perrotta 19-yard INT return (2nd quarter)
SCOUTING EDWARD WATERS: The Tigers are currently 2-1 on the season following a 51-7 loss to Morehouse College on Saturday. Edward Waters opened its season with wins over University of the Faith (76-7) and University of God's Chosen (57-8). Head coach Alvin Wyatt, Sr. is in his third season leading the Tigers and has an all overall record of 22-27, including an 8-9 mark at Edward Waters.
Trey White (R-Jr., Quarterback, Atlanta, Ga.)
• Made collegiate debut and saw first football game action since senior year (2011) in high school
• Guided the Owls to a 56-16 win in program's inaugural game at East Tennessee State on Thursday (Sept. 3)
• Rushed for 96 yards on 16 carries and scored KSU's first touchdown (6-yard run)
• 2-for-6 passing for 96 yards, including a 69-yard TD pass to Justin Sumpter on second play of second half
• Engineered KSU on five scoring drives
Darnell Holland (Fr., Running Back, Bowdon, Ga.)
• Had two rushes for 83 yards, including 63-yard TD run
• Had 23-yard kickoff return
• Totaled 106 all-purpose yards
• The Owls were 5-for-5 in red zone scoring opportunities (5 TDs)
• Four different players Trey White; 96; Chaston Bennett; 87; Darnell Holland; 83; and Micah Reed, 78) rushed for 70 or more yards.
• The Owls averaged 8.1 yards per play
• Kennesaw State had five touchdown drives of 50 or more yards, including four of 65 yards or more
• The 56 points are the most scored by a debuting FCS program dating back to 2008, and the 40-point win is the second largest during that same time period. KSU is one of just two teams to open against another FCS program among 10 institutions that have started a program. Charlotte, which debuted as an FCS program and has since moved to the FBS level, defeated Campbell, 52-7, in 2013.
• The 56 points by the Owls tied for the fifth most scored in FCS play during the opening weekend and led Big South Conference teams
• The 512 total yards gained led Big South Conference teams and KSU's 416 yards rushing were the third-highest total nationally
• After trailing 13-7 in the second quarter, the Owls scored 49 unanswered points. A total of seven players scored touchdowns, including redshirt freshman Jae Bowen, who scored twice on short runs.
• Freshman placekicker Justin Thompson was 8-for-8 on extra point attempts
• Redshirt freshman wide receiver Justin Sumpter caught two passes for 96 yards, including 69-yard TD reception
• Redshirt freshman quarterback Jake McKenzie saw playing time in the fourth quarter and had a 7-yard touchdown run
• Redshirt junior defensive lineman Nick Perrotta had a game-changing 19-yard interception return for a TD late in the second quarter that gave the Owls a 21-13 lead. He finished with four tackles, including two for loss.
• Kennesaw State limited ETSU to 98 rushing yards (2.6 yards per carry)
• Redshirt senior defensive lineman Mason Harris tied for the team lead with seven tackles, including three for loss and a sack for 10 yards. He also had two quarterback hurries and a forced fumble.
• Redshirt freshman Taylor Henkle tied for the team lead with seven tackles, including one for loss, and had a pass breakup. He also recorded the first defensive tackle in program history.
• Redshirt defensive back Dante' Blackmon had four tackles and returned an interception 23 yards.
SMASHING DEBUT: Kennesaw State is the sixth different program to win its first game as members of the Big South Conference, joining Gardner-Webb and Elon in 2002, Coastal Carolina in 2003, Stony Brook in 2008 and Monmouth in 2014. Meanwhile, the Owls' 56 points at East Tennessee State was the most scored by a Big South member in a season opener against an FCS opponent, and the fourth-most points scored overall in an opening game of a season since the league's formation in 2002.
OWLS FLY INTO BIG SOUTH RECORD BOOK: One game into its history, Kennesaw State has already written itself into the Big South Conference record book:
• The Owls' 416 yards and six touchdowns rushing in their debut game against East Tennessee marked just the 10th time in league history that a football member gained at least 415 yards on the ground with six rushing TDs. The last to do it was Presbyterian on Sept. 6, 2014 against Bluefield (523/7). KSU's performance was just the fifth such effort against an FCS opponent.
THE VIEW FROM THE SIDELINE: Head coach Brian Bohannon, who spent most of his career as an assistant coach in the press box on game day, has moved from the coaches' booth to the sideline in 2015. Prior to last Thursday's opener, Bohannon last coached a game from the sideline during his final season at Georgia Southern in 2001.
IN THE BOOTH: Offensive coordinator/offensive line coach Grant Chesnut, quarterbacks coach Cody Worley, defensive line coach Kevin Downing and defensive backs coach Chris Bland will be positioned in the booth.
A LOOK AT THE ROSTER: As a startup program, Kennesaw State will feature a young team that is dominated by freshmen and redshirt freshmen. Of the 105 players listed on the Owls roster, 73 are either true freshmen (20) or redshirt freshmen (53). The roster also includes 11 sophomores, 16 juniors and five seniors.
THE SENIORS: The five seniors on the Kennesaw State roster include Chaz Cheeks (DL, Gainesville, Ga. / Georgia Tech), Brett Gillespie (OL, Kennesaw, Ga. / North Greenville), Ryan Godhigh (RB, Acworth, Ga. / Harrison HS), Mason Harris (DL, Fort Oglethorpe, Ga. / South Carolina) and Prentice Stone (Marietta, Ga. / Eastern Kentucky).
TWO-DEEP BREAKDOWN: Head coach Brian Bohannon released the Kennesaw State two-deep on Friday (Aug. 28) and 27 players are either freshmen or redshirt freshmen. On offense, there are 15 freshmen or redshirt freshmen listed, including seven as starters. Defensively, 12 players fall into the above categories, with six being starters.
TRYOUT TO THE TWO-DEEP: A handful of players who took part in tryouts over the last year and a half, have
made significant impressions on the coaching staff and earned their way onto the two-deep.
Redshirt junior defensive lineman Nick Perrotta, redshirt sophomore linebacker Izzy Sam and redshirt senior Ryan Godhigh were part of the initial tryout on March 22, 2014. Additionally, redshirt senior
PJ Stone (wide receiver) and redshirt freshman defensive back Shawn Reynolds have gone from tryout hopefuls to earning spots on the Owls two-deep.
THE QUARTERBACK POSITION: Redshirt junior quarterback Trey White is listed as the starting quarterback and backed up by redshirt freshman Jake McKenzie. White, a transfer from The Citadel, prepped at St. Pius X Catholic High School in Atlanta. McKenzie is a former all-state player from Monroe Academy in Monroeville, Ala.
LEADING THE WAY: Redshirt freshman quarterback Chandler Burks (Douglasville, Ga. / South Paulding HS) became the first recruit to verbally commit to Kennesaw State when he let head coach Brian Bohannon know of his intentions to attend KSU in the summer of 2013. He also was the first signee after inking his name to a National Letter-of-Intent on Feb. 5, 2014. Burks was one of 29 players who were part of the initial signing class.
RECRUITING GEORGIA: When head coach Brian Bohannon assumed the challenge of building a program, he said he was committed to recruiting the state of Georgia. He and his staff have stayed true to that plan as 92 of the 105 players on the roster are from Georgia. There are three players each from Alabama and Florida, two from Texas, and one each from California, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Tennessee.
A GLANCE AT THE SCHEDULE: Kennesaw State will face a challenging schedule during its inaugural season. Six of the Owls' 10 opponents posted winning records in 2014, including five of six Big South Conference teams. Non-conference foe Dayton (8-3), along with Big South rivals Liberty (9-5), Monmouth (6-5), Charleston Southern (8-4), Coastal Carolina (12-2) and Presbyterian (6-5) all were on the plus side of the win-loss ledger a year ago.
SCOUTING THE BIG SOUTH CONFERENCE: The Big South Conference is considered one of the country's top NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) conferences. According to HERO Sports, the Big South Conference is ranked second among the 13 conferences, behind only the Missouri Valley Conference, home to four-time defending national champion North Dakota State. STATS FCS has listed the Big South as the fourth-best conference, trailing the Missouri Valley, Colonial Athletic Association and Big Sky Conference. The Big South Conference has had two teams advance to the FCS playoffs in each of the last three seasons.
FLYING HIGH: The inaugural 2015 season can be labeled the "Year of the Bird". In addition to the Kennesaw State Owls, five opponents on KSU's schedule have a type of bird as part of their mascot. Those teams include Shorter (Hawks), Point (Skyhawks), Monmouth (Hawks), Coastal Carolina (Chanticleers) and Liberty. Although Liberty's, nickname is the Flames, it also has "Sparky the Eagle", who was introduced on campus in 2006.
KENNESAW STATE-ALABAMA STATE AGREE TO 4-YEAR SERIES: Kennesaw State and Alabama State jointly announced on Monday (Aug. 31) an agreement on a four-year series that will begin in 2017 and run through 2020. The two teams will meet for the first time on Sept. 16, 2017 at Fifth Third Bank Stadium before switching venues to The New ASU Stadium on Sept. 15, 2018. The remaining two games will be played Sept. 14, 2019 in Kennesaw before wrapping up the current agreement on Sept. 19, 2020 in Montgomery, Ala.
Fifth Third Bank is the Official Bank of Kennesaw State Athletics. Fifth Third Bank Stadium is the home of women's soccer, women's lacrosse and football, which will play its inaugural season in 2015.
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A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu.