Owls Get Ready For Championship Weekend

By Don Stone, KennesawStateSports.com

     It isn’t officially called Championship Weekend. But, it might as well be. Kennesaw State sits undefeated in four games, half of them Big South contests. This Saturday, they travel for their first road game of the shortened spring season. Their destination is West Long Branch, New Jersey, home of the reigning conference champion Hawks.

     Monmouth has had a tough time of it so far…not because they haven’t played well. They are also unbeaten. Their problem has been finding an opponent who can show up on the field.
   The Hawks were supposed to open on March 13 with the same Robert Morris team that the Owls just shutout 35-0. The Colonels didn’t score in that one either. But, that’s because they never played. The game was postponed due to a positive Covid-19 test within the RMU program.

     Same thing the following week as their next opponent, Gardner-Webb had to postpone due to virus concerns within the Runnin’ Bulldogs’ program.

     Monmouth finally saw the field on March 27 as they easily handled conference foe Charleston Southern 35-17.

     They were on a roll as they traveled to Boiling Springs, NC for the rescheduled GWU game. No problem again with a dominant second half providing an easy 48-19 win.

     They’re hoping three times is the charm as #7 KSU comes calling. The Owls have won 17 of their last 18 games within the Big South. But, that only loss came in 2019 at the hands of the Hawks resulting in their first conference championship, dethroning the two time champion Owls.

     Kennesaw State will be coming off their most complete game of the season after jumping out to a 21-0 first quarter lead on the way to the 35-0 shellacking last Saturday.

     The pair of impressive wins last weekend got each team some hardware. Monmouth redshirt-sophomore Juwon Farri was named Big South Offensive Player of the Week rushing 24 times for 124 yards and a career-high four touchdowns. He averaged 5.2 yards per carry.

     KSU linebacker Bryson Armstrong is Defensive Player of the Week after recording six tackles. His big play was a 75-yard pick six, a school record. Its the third straight week the senior has received the honor.

     Owls quarterback Xavier Shepherd is Freshman of the Week shining in his first start as he rushed for a team-high 93 yards on 19 carries and one touchdown. The redshirt-freshman also threw for a TD.

     So, you can call it championship weekend because the winner will be the Big South Conference Champion remaining undefeated.

     Kickoff is Saturday at 1:00 p.m. at Monmouth’s Kessler Stadium. You can watch it on ESPN+ and hear it on the Owls’ TuneIn app.