The Kennesaw State Owls are back in the FCS Playoffs. After missing postseason play in the 2020 (spring 2021) season, the Owls secured the Big South Conference title and a playoff spot with a win over Monmouth last week. KSU will face Davidson at Fifth Third Bank Stadium on Saturday at 2 p.m.
The Owls (10-1, 7-0 Big South Conference) enter the game with the second-best rushing offense in the FCS (275.5). They are also experienced in the playoffs, winning at least one postseason game each of the three years. KSU is led by QB Xavier Shepherd who was named Big South Offensive Player of the Year. He leads the FCS in rushing touchdowns (19) and ranks first in the Big South in total points scored (114).
“We kind of envisioned this back in August,” Shepherd said after the game against Monmouth. “We talked about our goals going into the season, what we wanted to accomplish going ahead. Just being able to relive that moment. We took each day, one at a time, throughout the week and we got better throughout the week so we could produce on the field how we wanted to.”
The defense has been strong for the Owls this season, ranking first in the country in red zone defense (59%). Linebacker Garland Benyard was named Big South Defensive Freshman of the Year after posting 28 tackles two tackles for loss three tackles for loss, one sack, one forced fumble and a blocked punt. Linebacker Evan Thompson was named to the All-Big South First Team after totaling 92 tackles, 9.5 tackles-for-loss one sack and three pass break-ups.
The only team running the ball better than KSU is Davidson. The Wildcats, who are the champions of the Pioneer League, are averaging 348.4 rushing yards per game. Running back Coy Williams leads the team with 14 rushing touchdowns while running back Dylan Sparks leads the team in rushing yards with 808. Defensively, the Wildcats allow 27.4 points per game.
Who: Kennesaw State Owls vs. Davidson Wildcats
When: November 27, 2021, 2 p.m. ET
Where: Fifth Third Bank Stadium | Kennesaw, Georgia
TV and Online: ESPN+
Radio: KSU Owls App
Prediction: KSU 30, Davidson 17