The Kennesaw State Owls football team will make history on Saturday. With the team playing in the newly-formed Atlantic Sun Conference, KSU will face its first-ever conference opponent in Jacksonville State in Jacksonville, Alabama. But despite Saturday being the first time KSU and JSU have faced each other in the ASUN, the two teams are familiar foes as they have battled three times with the Owls winning all three contests. The last meeting came in 2021 at Fifth Third Bank Stadium, and KSU came away with a 31-6 victory.
And to say the Owls need a win on Saturday will be an understatement. After losing the first two games of the year, KSU fell out of the top 25 rankings, making them one of the more disappointing teams in the FCS in the very early stages of the season. However, the Owls bounced back last week, earning a 24-22 victory over Wofford. The Owls made a switch at quarterback before last week’s game and Jonathan Murphy stepped up in a big way, rushing for 138 yards while throwing for 107 yards and scoring two rushing touchdowns.
If the Owls are looking to win on Saturday, defensive back Markeith Montgomery will need to have a big performance just like he did last week. In the Wofford game, Montgomery finished with four tackles and one interception returned for a 78-yard touchdown leading him to be named ASUN Player of the Week.
KSU is facing a rejuvenated Jacksonville State team that has one of the more dangerous offenses in the FCS. Under new head coach Rich Rodriguez, the Gamecocks have scored at least 34 points in all but one of their games, and that was when they lost to Tulsa 54-17. Quarterback Zion Webb has nine rushing touchdowns (a career-high) while running back Anwar Lewis is averaging 7.7 yards per carry.
One thing to note about Saturday’s game is this will also be the last time KSU and JSU will meet as ASUN opponents as Jacksonville State is moving to Conference USA next season.
Who: Kennesaw State Owls at Jacksonville State Gamecocks
When: October 1, 2022, 2 p.m. ET
Where: Burgess-Snow Field at JSU Stadium | Jacksonville, Ala
TV and Online: ESPN+
Radio: KSU Owls App
Prediction: KSU 35, Jacksonville State 34