#28 Kennesaw State FCS Football 2021 Preview

Kennesaw State Owls
Overall Rank: #28
#3 Big South
 Kennesaw State Logo
Kennesaw State had another good season in the spring of 2021. However, after three years of playoff appearances, the Owls failed to make the field. Coach Brian Bohannon’s team beat Charleston Southern and Robert Morris and that set up a trip to Monmouth with the Big South title on the line. KSU struggled in that contest though and were left with a disappointing 42-17 defeat.
2020-21 Record: 4-1, 2-1
2020-21 Postseason: None
Coach: Brian Bohannon (52-16 at Kennesaw State, 52-16 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Grant Chesnut
Defensive Coordinator: Danny Verpaele
Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Kyle Glover, RB, 278 yards
Passing: Jonathan Murphy, QB, 275 yards
Receiving: Will Haigler, WR, 116 yards
Tackles: Chance Bates, LB, 26          
Sacks: Peyton Moore, DL, 3.0
Interceptions: None
Other Key Returnees: RB Isaac Foster, WR Caleb O’Neal, OL Jake Lassiter, OL Zion Katina, OL William Nana Fabu, DB Markeith Montgomery, DL Desmond Scott, K Nathan Robertson
Key Losses: QB Tommy Bryant, WR Shaquil Terry, OL Chris Dye, LB Bryson Armstrong, LB Kareem Taylor
The Owls ended the season ranked second in the FCS with 268.0 rushing yards per game. Kyle Glover and Isaac Foster were the most impressive running backs and will look to lead the Owls to similar success in the fall. Foster only recorded 30 carries in those five games, but he averaged an impressive 7.6 yards per carry. Quarterback Jonathan Murphy can do a lot of damage with his legs too. He started two games under center and threw for 275 yards and three touchdowns with one interception. Xavier Shepherd started the game against Robert Morris and threw for 67 yards and one touchdown and added a total of 22 carries for 108 yards the spring. Wide receivers Will Haigler and Caleb O’Neal are big play threats. Haigler caught five passes for a team high 116 yards, while O’Neal caught just three passes, but they went for an impressive 92 yards. The Owls are going to stick to the ground for the most part, but they will be a threat to go deep through the air.
The Owls have had success in the last few years in large part due to their defense. The spring was no different and neither will be the fall. There are a couple big losses though, most notably linebackers Bryson Armstrong and Kareem Taylor. Armstrong has been absolutely brilliant for KSU over the last four years and the All-American will play one more season of college football at the FBS level at UCF. Chance Bates will be the new leader of the linebackers. Peyton Moore will lead what should be a good pass rush again in 2021 and Markeith Montgomery and Cincere Mason are young and very promising defensive backs.
The Bottom Line:
The ground game will again be very effective. The question this group will have to face is on the other side of the ball. It remains to be seen how big of a factor losing Armstrong and Taylor will be. That is a big hole in the heart of the defense. The non-conference slate is brutal after playing Reinhardt University to open up the season. But even if they lose to Georgia Tech, Wofford and Jacksonville State, Coach Brian Bohannon will learn about his team and be prepared for Big South play. The big conference game, as usual, will come during the season finale against Monmouth.
Projected Postseason:  None
2020-21 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 268.0 (2nd in nation, 1st in conference)
Passing Offense: 89.2 (94, 5)
Total Offense: 357.2 (40, 2)
Scoring Offense: 29.6 (19, 2)
Rushing Defense: 113.0 (20, 2)
Pass Defense: 168.0 (16, 1)
Total Defense: 281.0 (14, 1)
Scoring Defense: 18.2 (14, 1)
Turnover Margin: 0.00 (44, 2)
Sacks: 2.60 (27, 3)
Sacks Allowed: 1.60 (27, 1)