Kennesaw State looking for a little respect

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Oct. 5—KENNESAW — Kennesaw State football and Rodney Dangerfield do not often end up in the same sentence, but Owls coach Brian Bohannon said his team is feeling a little bit like the late comedian.

"I don't get no respect," Dangerfield used to say, and that seemed to be something Bohannon and the Owls were feeling after their 31-6 victory over then-No. 17 Jacksonville State last Saturday.

"(It's a) big thing for our guys. We're trying to earn a bit of respect, too," Bohannon said. "I don't pay attention to all the polls and stuff, but it's like, 'Come on, man,' and I think our football team is in that mindset right now."

Heading into the game at No. 20, Kennesaw State moved up to No. 17 in both the STATS Perform and American Football Coaches Association polls. The Owls started the year No. 19, dropped three spots after a season-opening win over Reinhardt, dropped two more spots after a loss to Georgia Tech, but then gained only one spot after a dominating win over perennial Southern Conference power Wofford.

Kennesaw State moved up three spots during its bye week after other teams in front of them lost, but it seems when the Owls prove themselves on the field, the voters do not seem to play close attention. In some ways, the 2021 team is much like the 2015 and 2016 teams that were trying to prove themselves in the program's infancy.

"It's like we don't exist," Bohannon said. "Everybody is like, 'Well, you don't schedule anybody.' You don't do this, you don't do that, and then you go do it and you win, it doesn't matter. It's crazy. Whether it's back in Year 1, Year 2 — it feels that way sometimes. It's just the way it is sometimes. That's why we have to come, ready to work every day, and I told our kids respect isn't given, it's earned."

Kennesaw State (3-1) will try to earn some respect when it opens Big South Conference play Saturday at Hampton.

Following that will be games against Big South newcomer North Carolina A&T, which has finished in the FCS top 20 the last three seasons. The Owls will also face high-scoring Campbell, Gardner-Webb — which was ranked earlier this season — and two-time league defending champion Monmouth, which is receiving votes in the STATS Perform poll and is No. 25 in the coaches' poll.

Should Kennesaw State win out, there is hope that the team will have earned its just do.

"I think, this year, going down the stretch of seven games, it will be as good as the Big South has ever been," Bohannon said.

Missed opportunities

Bohannon said that winning the game was the most important thing last Saturday, but it could have been even more dominant than the 31-6 margin if Kennesaw State would start to play at its full potential.

He said there were points left on the field, specifically pointing to the last two drives of the first half, where the Owls settled for one Nathan Robertson field goal and then missed a second kick.

However, the big thing was the missed chances on the other side of the ball. Jacksonville State fumbled the ball five times and did not lose any, while Kennesaw State defenders had two potential interceptions hit their hands and fall incomplete.

"We took care of the ball. We had no turnovers," Bohannon said. "Defensively, we had two and had the blocked kick on top of that, and honestly, we should have had five or six. You saw the missed interceptions, but there was a couple times the ball was on the ground, where, if we're really flying around the way we are capable of, we might recover those, too."

Grand gainers

With his first carry of the day against Jacksonville State, running back Kyle Glover went over 1,000 yards rushing for his career.

Also, after Georgia Tech fixed some errant stats from the game last month, Isaac Foster went over the 1,000-yard mark with his final carry in that game.

Bohannon said he was happy for both.

"Both these kids, you aren't going to find better representatives of Kennesaw State football than Isaac Foster and Kyle Glover," Bohannon said. "Both awesome kids. I can't say enough about both of those guys."

Foster and Glover became the eighth and ninth members of the 1,000-yard club at Kennesaw State, joining Chandler Burks, Darnell Holland, Jake McKenzie, Shaquil Terry, Bronson Rechsteiner, Chaston Bennett and Trey White.

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