Kennesaw State, at 3-1, still searching for complete performance

Kennesaw State coach Brian Bohannon said the Owls, who have won three consecutive games, are still looking to put together all three phases of the game. PHOTO / JASON GETZ

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Kennesaw State coach Brian Bohannon said the Owls, who have won three consecutive games, are still looking to put together all three phases of the game. PHOTO / JASON GETZ

Khadrice Rollins

krollins@ajc.com

Kennesaw State is in the midst of a three-game winning streak. In each of those games, the Owls have scored at least 36 points. The defense has forced eight turnovers the past two games.

Coach Brian Bohannon said he is still not completely pleased with his team’s performance.

“We’re looking to put together that complete game,” quarterback Chandler Burks said. “We still haven’t been able to do that yet, but we’re moving in the right direction, and that’s all we’re looking for.”

It appeared that KSU (3-1) was on the verge of putting together that “complete game” against Furman (0-5) last week, but it didn’t come to fruition. The offense scored only three points in the second half after posting 49 in the game’s opening 30 minutes. Despite creating four takeaways, the defense gave up 42 points and missed tackles. Penalties drew more attention in Monday’s film session than the two interceptions, two fumble recoveries and two sacks.

Simply put, victories are not enough for the Owls. They strive for perfection.

“We have yet to come out and play with all three phases at that high level, so we got to continue to work toward that,” Bohannon said.

If the Owls don’t execute at a high level Saturday, they could easily end up on the wrong side of a battle with Missouri S&T (3-2, 2-1 Great Lakes Valley).

The Owls will be without receiver Justin Sumpter, who leads the team with 25 receptions, 468 yards and six touchdowns. This isn’t good news as they will be looking to match the scoring output of a Miners team that averages 38 points a game.

But KSU isn’t concerned with what its opponents have done. Instead, Bohannon said he keeps the players focused on themselves and what they can do.

He said he isn’t thinking about his defense shutting down the opposing team’s offense or contemplating whether or not his offense is ready to score at the same pace as the opposition.

“I don’t really think about getting in a shootout or can we stop them,” he said. “I think more about, what can we control on our end, which is what we’re doing and how we’re doing it.”

Saturday presents the opportunity for the Owls to put together their longest winning streak in the program’s short history.

But win or lose, the team said will be back at it on Monday with the same intensity and urge to fix whatever went wrong to get ready for the next week.

“When the game is over, and we win, we celebrate, and we come back on Monday, it’s gone,” Bohannon said. “We got to move on. When we lose, we learn from it, and then we move on.”

KSU is moving on from the just the third road win in its history and the first time the team has won consecutive road games.

But with everyone trying to get the sour taste of last week’s second half out of their mouths, it might not be too difficult to get past that and prepare for Missouri S&T.

“I don’t think that they think they’ve arrived yet,” defensive coordinator Brian Newberry said. “I think they understand, they see the same things we see on film. They know they’ve got a long way to go, and a lot of improvement to make if we want to keep this thing going.”