The Kennesaw State football team is making a big change after going 0-2 for the first time in school history. This week, Owls head coach Brian Bohannon announced that Jonathan Murphy will start at quarterback on Saturday against Wofford over Xavier Shepherd. Before the 2022 season kicked off, Shepherd was named preseason Atlantic Sun Conference Player of the Year as well as a preseason All-American. But he has struggled to get anything going, averaging 1.9 rushing yards per carry and completing just 37.5% of his passes.
Bohannon explained why he made the decision during his weekly press conference. “I met with both guys this morning,” Bohannon said, per the Marietta Daily Journal. “I said, ‘Murphy, you’ve earned the right to start this week.’ It’s just an evaluation of what they are doing day in and day out. I told them, it’s not just today’s work. It’s a body of work.”
Murphy played in the Week 2 contest against Cincinnati and completed three of his four passes for 51 yards while rushing for 28 yards on 13 carries in the team’s 63-10 loss. Murphy was the starting quarterback when the Owls kick off the 2021 season against Reinhardt. But Shepherd took over when Murphy suffered an injury and went to lead the Owls to the second round of the playoffs.
Murphy made his debut with the Owls in 2019 and had a breakout game against Wofford in the playoffs, rushing for 206 yards and three touchdowns. During the spring 2021 season, Murphy played in three of the team’s five games and ran for 174 yards and two touchdowns while throwing for 275 yards and three touchdowns. He will look to turn things around for the Owls when they face Wofford this Saturday at 6 p.m. ET at Fifth Third Bank Stadium.