A great offense and defense proved a winning formula as No. 4 Kennesaw State defeated Samford 24-10 yesterday at Fifth Third Bank Stadium.
In a rematch of last season’s first-round FCS playoff game, the Owls (4-1) converted 8-of-14 third down attempts and scored 24 unanswered points en route to achieving their fourth straight win and 12th consecutive home win.
Facing the FCS’s second-ranked passing offense, Kennesaw State limited Samford (1-4) to a season-low 150 yards through the air. The Bulldogs, who were averaging 374.3 passing yards a game, were also held to a season-low 272 total yards.
After Samford went on a 16-play, 72-yard drive that consumed nearly seven minutes and ended with a 20-yard field goal, Kennesaw State responded with a time-consuming drive of its own. Quarterback Chandler Burks led the Owls on a 15-play, 65-yard march that ended with a 1-yard run, capping a seven-minute drive that gave KSU a 7-3 lead.
Burks connected with TJ Reed on a 9-yard touchdown pass with 4:40 remaining in the second quarter to increase Kennesaw State’s lead to 14-3.
Darnell Holland opened the third quarter with a 72-yard kickoff return to Samford’s 28-yard line. Burks capped the seven-play drive with a 3-yard touchdown run, increasing the Owls’ lead to 24-3.
Burks finished as KSU’s leading rusher, carrying the ball 15 times for 56 yards. He also completed 5-of-12 passes for 66 yards and a touchdown.
The trio of Anthony Gore, Jr., Bryson Armstrong, and Cole Loden each achieved nine tackles to lead the Owls’ defense. Peyton Moore had two tackles for loss and a fumble recovery while Andrew Butcher recorded a fumble, extending KSU’s streak of at least one takeaway to 19 games.