The focus of HBCU football fans will shift to Fifth Third Bank Stadium on Saturday afternoon, when Kennesaw St. takes on Tennessee State. Each team is looking to recover from some adversity. Kennesaw State has lost four straight games, while TSU couldn’t beat UT Martin in their last contest. With no recent history between these teams, early possessions could really set the tone. Each side will be looking to make a mark early and take control of the game.
Kennesaw State (1-4 Overall)
Defense has been the Owls’ biggest strength for stretches of this season. They are allowing an average of 347 yards per game, with opposing offenses averaging 203 passing yards and 144 yards rushing. Attacking on the ground has netted opponents 3.9 yards per carry, while passing attempts are gaining 7.2 yards on average.
Quarterback Jonathan Murphy will be leading Kennesaw St. in this one. Murphy has averaged 173.8 pass yards per game with season totals of six touchdowns and one interception.
Kennesaw State’s offense places a significant focus on the ground game. On the season they have a 64-36 rush-pass play selection split.
The Owls’ record sits at 0-3 for their last three games, averaging 15.0 points per game over that span. They are 1-1 at home so far this year, averaging 33.0 points per game in those games. This is Kennesaw State’s only game against an FCS HBCU opponent.
Tennessee State (2-2 Overall, 1-1 in OVC)
Struggles on both sides of the ball have plagued the Tigers this season. Their defense has been allowing 445 yards per game. Meanwhile, their own offense has only been averaging 290 yards per game. The secondary is falling short game after game, as opposing quarterbacks have averaged 7.7 yards per pass attempt on the season.
Tailback Jalen Rouse will be leading Tennessee State in this one. Rouse has collected 194 rush yards this season, scoring one touchdown on the ground.
Tennessee State loves to get their quarterback involved in the ground game, with 31% of their rush attempts coming from their signal caller.
The Tigers’ record sits at 2-1 for their last three games, averaging 20.3 points per game over that span. They are 0-2 on the road so far this year, averaging 6.5 points per game in those games. This is Tennessee State’s only game against an FCS Independent opponent this season.
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