Murphy ready to take charge as KSU's starting QB

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John Bednarowski, Marietta Daily Journal, Ga.
·3 min read
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Mar. 30—Jonathan Murphy appears ready to take the reins of Kennesaw State's offense.

The 6-foot, 195-pound redshirt sophomore from Los Angeles will likely take over as the starting quarterback for the injured Tommy Bryant Saturday when the Owls host Robert Morris at Fifth Third Bank Stadium.

Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m.

There was a question as to whether Murphy would be ready this week after getting injured against Charleston Southern on March 13. He did not play a week later after Bryant suffered a season-ending leg injury in the fourth quarter against Dixie State, leaving Xavier Shepherd to come off the bench to help secure the victory.

With an extra week to recover after the unexpected postponement of last week's game against Gardner-Webb due to COVID issues within the Runnin' Bulldogs' program, Murphy is now listed at the top of the depth chart.

"He's practicing right now, which is a positive," Kennesaw State coach Brian Bohannon said Tuesday during his weekly news conference, "so we'll see how the week goes, but he is practicing right now."

Before getting banged up, Murphy had run for 113 yards and a touchdown, and thrown for 108 yards and two scores against Charleston Southern. He really made an impression in 2019 when he came off the bench against Wofford in the opening round of the FCS playoffs and ran for 206 yards and three touchdowns in the Owls' 28-21 victory.

Still no word

When the Big South Conference announced last week that Kennesaw State's game against Gardner-Webb would be postponed, it said it would work with both schools to try to reschedule the game at a later date.

To this point, Bohannon said the conference has not given him an update.

"I don't have anything other than what everyone knows right now," he said. "I don't know anything else."

After playing Robert Morris, Kennesaw State is scheduled to face Monmouth next week. The Owls are scheduled to be off the last week of the regular season, but Gardner-Webb is already scheduled to play Charleston Southern that week.

The FCS playoffs begin the week of April 24.

Last week's game was the first game Kennesaw State had canceled by the effects of COVID-19, and Bohannon told his team to continue to expect the unexpected.

"'Something's going to come up again now,'" Bohannon said he told the team. "'You are going to need to be prepared. Some things are going to happen. I don't know what they are going to be, but there are going to be some adjustments. You have to be prepared.' It's kind of the climate we're in right now. That was the first one that really affected them. I think we've regrouped from that."

Lucky 7

Kennesaw State was ranked seventh in the STATS Perform FCS Top 25 poll released Monday.

The Owls moved up one spot to replace future ASUN Conference rival Jacksonville State, which lost 13-10 to Austin Peay on Sunday.

James Madison continued to be No. 1, followed by North Dakota State, Weber State, South Dakota State and Sam Houston State. Other teams of note included the Gamecocks, who fell to No. 12, Chattanooga at No. 17 and Furman at No. 21. Monmouth and Gardner-Webb received votes.

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