Every fan of Bruce Lee’s movies in the 1970s knows that the dynamic martial arts star was about to kick some butt whenever his opponent drew blood. The Owls got down to business in the same manner Saturday afternoon reeling off 23 unanswered points after visiting Monmouth scored in the first two-and-a-half minutes of the first quarter.
The fast start caught the Owls by surprise. “We came out super flat,” admitted defensive end Mason Harris. “Defensively we didn’t have any energy but after that when we got on the sidelines looked at each other and picked it up and came back out.”
When the defense came back out they put in work. Monmouth made only one more trip into the Owls side of the 50 in the first half and that resulted in a failed field goal attempt. Meanwhile, the Owls offense ground out 16 points dominating the time of possession battle 18:52 to 10:06.
Looking at the size differential across the front such a feat appeared almost inconceivable. Both tackles for the Owls weighed less than 250 pounds, which is unheard of in today’s era where 300 lbs is considered svelte. Clearly neither that nor the third string center starting mattered much as the Owls out-rushed the Hawks 341 yards to 187 yards. Running back Chaston Bennett rushed for 124 yards on 6 carries and quarterback Trey White added another 108 yards. As a team, the Owls averaged close to 6 yards rushing every time they toted the rock.
Defensively, the Owls –excuse the pun- were flying around the ball. Six Owls defenders made the stat sheet for having a tackle-for-loss. Linebacker Kyron Minter played like a man on fire racking up 5 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, and an interception.
Monmouth’s struggles continued long into the second half primarily because the Hawks defense was unable to get the Owls offense off the field. Kennesaw State converted 12 of their 15 third downs. “Twelve of fifteen, it will give you a chance,” said Head Coach Brian Bohannon. “Big thing we have to continue to work on is just getting the ball in the end zone.” The Owls reached the red zone 7 times coming away with three touchdowns and a field goal.
With the win, Kennesaw State ‘Protected the Nest’ by remaining unbeaten at home. The Owls will get one more chance at keeping their home record spotless when 13th ranked (FCS) Charleston Southern (7-1, 4-0) hits town.