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The Press Box Sports

Kennesaw State Survives 16-14 Scare Against Bobcats to Win 8 Straight

Kennesaw State Football

The Kennesaw State Owls had a rough day on Saturday, but was able to still pull out a 16-14 victory against the Montana State Bobcats. The No. 25 Owls were able to control the clock throughout the game, having the ball for almost 40 minutes. Keeping the Grizzlies off the field on offense was the key to Kennesaw State getting the win. The Owls effectively ran the ball as they had 346 rushing yards on 74 carries. Being from Georgia, the Owls aren’t use to playing in colder temperatures. That was expected to be a big disadvantage as the game-time temperature was 23 degrees.

Keeping the blood circulating to stay warm wasn’t much of a problem for QB Chandler Burks and RB Jake McKenzie. The duo rushed for 265 yards, with Burks also scoring on the ground. McKenzie averaged 5.8 yards per carry for 116 yards. The cold air wasn’t friendly to Burks in the passing game. The red-shirt junior was 4-12 for 55 yards. Darnell Holland caught two of those passes for 34 yards.

The good thing for the Owls was that Montana State didn’t fare too well in the passing game either. Quarterback Chris Murray completed just 27.8 percent of his passes for 110 yards. He did throw a 37-yard touchdown pass to Mitch Herbert, but also threw a costly interception near the end of the game. Murray was productive on the ground though. The sophomore ran for 92 yards on 14 carries and scored on a 7-yard touchdown run.

Despite having the ball almost 20 minutes less than Kennesaw State in the game, Montana State was still in a position to end the Owls’ seven-game winning streak. The touchdown pass to Herbert put the Bobcats up 14-13 and it stayed that way until under 2 minutes left in the game. Kennesaw State kicker, Justin Thompson nailed a 37-yard field goal to give the Owls the lead 16-14. Montana State drove down to the KSU 33-yard line and still had over a minute left to take back the lead. At the 1:16 mark, Murray was picked off by Taylor Henkle to seal the deal for Kennesaw State.

The Owls used their trademark rushing attack to keep the Bobcat offense off the field. They lead FCS football this season, averaging 329 rushing yards per game. Their strategy paid off once again on Saturday as Montana State had very little time to make something happen on offense. Controlling the clock, along with Thompson going 3-3 on field goals, is what ultimately gave Kennesaw State the win.

Kennesaw State Football

The win puts Kennesaw State at 8-1 on the season. They still are tied for first in the Big South with Monmouth who is also undefeated in conference play. The Owls will host CharlestonĀ  Southern (2-1, 5-4) this coming Saturday. Montana State falls to 4-5 on the season. They’ll face another tough opponent next week when the travel to Northern Arizona.

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