In their 2017 home opener at Fifth Third Bank Stadium, Kennesaw State defeated Tennessee Tech 27-14 on Saturday night.
Here are five things to know about the Owls’ first win of the season:
1. The Owls scored 10 points off turnovers
The Owls scored a touchdown and a field goal off two Golden Eagles’ turnovers Saturday night— both of which were inside the red zone.
Kennesaw State scored their first touchdown of the game off a Tennessee Tech interception in the first quarter when Golden Eagles quarterback Andre Sale was picked off by Owls linebacker Brenton Wimberly on Kennesaw State’s six-yard line. Wimberly returned the pick 11 yards before being brought down.
Kennesaw State marched 83 yards downfield to score on a 29-yard run by running back Trey Chivers.
The Owls kicked a field goal in the third quarter after a fumble recovery by Owls strong safety Taylor Henkle. Kennesaw State kicker Justin Thompson sank his second field goal of the game off the fubmle recovery, giving the Owls’ a 27-0 lead.
Owls cornerback Akebren Ralls forced the Golden Eagles’ fumble after Sale completed a pass to wide receiver Dontez Byrd inside the red zone.
Byrd led the Golden Eagles with 109 receiving yards on 10 catches.
Henkle picked off Sale with 3:47 remaining in the fourth quarter
2. Tennessee Tech was shutout in the first half
Kennesaw State allowed Tennessee Tech 161 all-purpose yards in the first half. The Golden Eagles rushed for 53 yards and passed for 108 yards.
After an action-packed fourth quarter, Tennessee Tech finished the game with 420 total yards, 297 of them passing.
3. The Golden Eagles scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter
Tennessee Tech scored their first points of the game with 12:16 in the fourth quarter off a 13 yard pass from quarterback Andre Sale to wide receiver D.J. Wilkes.
Following a 20-yard run on fourth-down by Golden Eagles wide receiver Alex Carling, an unsportsmanlike conduct and personal foul penalty on Kennesaw State defensive back Tremayne Trawick, moving the ball inside the red zone from the Owls' 43-yard line.
The Owls’ defense allowed the Golden Eagles to convert 3-of-3 fourth-downs on Saturday night.
Wilkes scored the Golden Eagles’ second touchdown of the fourth quarter off a 23-yard pass from Sale after Owls free safety Jace White was ejected for targeting.
The Golden Eagles totaled 24 rushing yards and 172 passing yards in the fourth quarter.
Tennessee Tech almost scored a third touchdown in the fourth quarter, but Sale threw an interception to cornerback Dorian Walker with less than a minute remaining in the game.
4. Holland sets record with long run
In the second quarter, Kennesaw State junior running back Darnell Holland recorded an 84-yard touchdown against Tennessee Tech— the longest touchdown run in Owl history. Holland scored on the Owls’ fourth possession of the game and gave the Owls a 17-0 lead.
"Our offense gave me a great chance to make those runs tonight," Holland said.
Holland led the Owls with 129 rushing yards on four carries and one touchdown.
The Owls rushed for 309 yards against the Golden Eagles after rushing 205 yards in the Owls loss to Samford on Aug. 31. The Owls rushed for 225 of those yards in the first half alone.
5. Sumpter, Owls score a touchdown with 0:36 remaining in the first half
With 36 seconds left in the first half and a 17-0 lead, some coaches would have told their players to take a knee and head to the locker room.
Owls quarterback Chandler Burks threw the ball deep and found wide receiver Justin Sumpter for 55 yards, putting the ball on the Golden Eagles’ three-yard line.
Burks was 5-for-8 for 88 passing yards and one touchdown on Saturday.
Two plays later, Sumpter caught a three-yard pass from Burks in the end zone, bringing the Owls’ lead to 24-0 with four seconds left in the first half.
Leading the Owls in receiving, Sumper had two catches for 58 yards and one touchdown.