By Don Stone,

   A very exciting game at Fifth Third Bank Stadium resulted in a similar result for Kennesaw State for the second consecutive week. Seven days earlier in Chattanooga, the Owls fell behind 17-0 before mounting a second half comeback, outscoring the Mocs 20-10. But, they came up short 27-20.

  On Saturday night, after scoring first, Furman got up by two scores twice, 21-7 and 28-14. The Owls played come from behind virtually all game getting to within seven a few times. But, they could never overcome the 14 point hole they had dug.

    Kennesaw State wound up losing by a 31-28 score, actually much closer than I thought it would be. Coming in, the Paladins looked like a very tough opponent ranked #7 and making it to the second round of last season’s playoffs. But, the Owls hung tough throughout. In the end, it was settled on a last second field goal.

    What did them in was undisciplined penalties, six of them for 68 yards, extending drives and keeping the Furman offense on the field. The one that stood out the most was 30 yards on two plays, a horse collar tackle on Tykeem Wallace followed by a late hit on Deontre Morris that moved the ball from the KSU 45 all the way into the red zone at the 15. That made it easy for quarterback Tyler Huff to take it into the right corner of the end zone and go up 28-14.

   The Owls had a difficult time containing Huff, who had a great night, rushing for 79 yards and four touchdowns, a Furman quarterback record. He was 24-32 passing with 237 yards through the air.

    Another series that stood out as crucial was near the end of the first half when it looked like the Owls were going to tie it at 14. KSU got the ball back in their best starting field position at their 42 with 28 seconds left.
    A quick completion to Carson Kent went out of bounds at the FP48. A false start moved it to the KSU47. Blake Bohannon’s big catch up the middle for 33 yards got it into field goal range at the 21. Then, a big sack for a 10 yard loss pushed it back to the 31. Another false start was followed by a short pass and time ran out. A golden opportunity for an easy three points and maybe more was squandered with more penalties and the sack.

    Two Owl players who stood out were quarterback Jonathan Murphy who set a single game program record with 308 yards passing, the first to go over 300 in a game. Single game records for passing attempts (31) and completions (17) were also established.

    Gabriel Benyard had 136 receiving yards, a career high, the longest for 61 yards and two touchdowns. The running back ran for 65 yards, the longest for 45 yards and a third TD.

    Next up, Kennesaw State returns to Tennessee to visit Tennessee Tech. The Owls beat the Golden Eagles at home last year in a close 33-30 game.

    Tech is winless in three tries this season and will be coming off a 20-7 September 16th loss to the North Alabama Lions. The game takes place on Saturday, September 23 at 7:00 p.m. It can be seen on ESPN+.