In Kennesaw State’s final true home game of the season, the Owls topped Campbell 49-0 on Saturday at Fifth Third Bank Stadium.
Here are five things to know about the victory:
1. Burks exploded on senior day for four touchdowns
Kennesaw State quarterback Chandler Burks continued to put up big numbers, as he ran 97 yards on 12 carries and rushed for four touchdowns, three of which were scored in the second quarter.
Burks’ most impressive play was his 50-yard touchdown run on the first play a Kennesaw State’s drive, which put the Owls up 14-0.
“People forget all the stuff he went through to get here,” coach Brian Bohannon said. “He tore his ACL. He was playing behind Trey (White), and he’s such a competitor, such a team guy, such a leader. … In my 20-something years of coaching, I’ve never been around (a player) like him, and I’ve been a lot of places.”
Burks, a graduate student from Douglasville, also was 3-for-4 passing for 49 yards and one touchdown. He has 23 rushing touchdowns this season, leading all FCS and FBS football players. Burks is three rushing touchdowns shy of setting the record for most rushing touchdowns in a season in the Big South.
Backup quarterbacks Daniel David and Tommy Bryant each played in the fourth quarter after Burks left the game.
While Burks led the Owls in touchdowns against Campbell, running back Shaq Terry led the team in rushing yards with 112 yards on eight carries.
The Owls totaled 467 yards, 395 rushing, in their final Big South home game of the season.
2. Owls held Camels to 138 total yards
Campbell (5-4, 0-3) was limited to 138 total yards, 92 rushing.
The Camels recorded 69 of those yards in the first quarter, but were limited to 11 total yards on their three second-quarter possessions as they shut out the Camels in the first half. Campbell went on to total 58 yards in the second half.
Bohannon said once his team settled into the game, they were able to identify what the Camels were doing on offense.
“Offensively they ran 37 plays,” Bohannon said. “I don’t think I’ve ever been a part of a game where there were only 37 plays run in a shutout. … We moved the football once we settled down.”
3. The first quarter was scoreless
Neither Campbell nor Kennesaw State scored in the first quarter.
Because of a quick first quarter that was sped along by the high volume of run plays each offense executed, the game’s first points were not scored until the second quarter when the Owls converted a fourth down with a 1-yard run by Burks. The drive lasted just over eight minutes and consisted of 15 plays for 80 yards.
Despite scoring seven touchdowns against the Camels, the Owls did not score on their first possession, despite reaching the Campbell 32-yard line. Two consecutive runs for negative yardage pushed the Owls to fourth-and-14 on 39 and forced a first-possession punt for the third consecutive game.
4. Holland returned kickoff for touchdown
Darnell Holland returned the second half’s opening kickoff 84 yards for a touchdown to put Kennesaw State up 28-0.
The kickoff return was the Owls’ third this season. Isaac Foster returned two kicks for touchdowns against Alabama State and Gardner-Webb.
5. The senior class was honored
To celebrate senior day, the Owls’ senior class was introduced before the game.
Kennesaw State (8-1, 4-0) wore the combination of gold helmets, white jerseys and gold pants worn in the program’s first game as a way to honor the seniors, who were part of the school’s first recruiting class and who won 33 games over the past four seasons and led the team to the program’s first Big South Conference title and FCS playoff game last season.
The seniors, many who were part of Kennesaw State first recruiting class, also had their names written in black letters on the back of their white jerseys, marking the first time any Kennesaw State player had his name on the back of his jersey.
“I’m a big name-on-the-front guy, not name-on-the-back, but I think this group, they deserved it,” Bohannon said.
Kennesaw State honored the following players:
Joseph Alexander, McKenzie Billingslea, Chandler Burks, Austin Byrd, Trey Chivers, C.J. Collins, Terry Davis, Anthony Gore Jr., Gordon Gray, Xavier Harper, Darnell Holland, Randy Jones, Drew McCracken, Jake McKenzie, Chiaza Nwadike, Devin Pughsley, Nicolas Snowden, Justin Sumpter, Brandon Sutton, Justin Thompson, Jordan Walker and Jace White.
Kennesaw State will travel to play Monmouth at noon Saturday. The Owls then conclude the regular season with a home game at SunTrust Park at 3 p.m. Nov. 17 against Jacksonville State.