KENNESAW — After nearly a month away from home, Kennesaw State finally returns to Fifth Third Bank Stadium to face Reinhardt on Saturday.
The Owls went 2-1 on the first three-week road trip in program history, and now they are ready to finally get a chance to play in front of the home fans again.
“We are excited to come back home,” Bohannon said. “Seems like its been forever.”
Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m.
Kennesaw State (3-1) scheduled Reinhardt (3-1), an NAIA program from neighboring Cherokee County, after Duquesne dropped the Owls to instead play New Hampshire this year.
Without the game, the Owls, who were already scheduled to be off next week, would have had consecutive bye weeks in the middle of the season. Unable to find another opponent, Bohannon decided to call Reinhardt.
It was not something he really wanted to do.
”I talked to coach (James) Miller,” Bohannon said. “We know those guys, and I told them, ‘We don’t want to play you guys, ‘cause I know you’re good, but I have no choice right now, because we have to have a game.’”
Reinhardt started played its first game in 2013 and its short history has been as good, if not better, than Kennesaw State’s. The Eagles have an all-time record of 58-15 and have already advanced to the postseason four times, including playing for the NAIA national championship in 2017.
Reinhardt comes into the game after suffering its first loss last week, 14-12 at Keiser. In that game, the Eagles allowed a touchdown with 21 seconds to play, while also being done in by a missed extra point and failed 2-point conversion and numerous injuries.
Reinhardt ran for 287 yards and used 10 different ball-carriers to do it. For the season, it is averaging 277 yards per game on the ground and 370.5 yards of total offense.
While the Eagles’ run-first offense is different than Kennesaw State’s modified triple-option, it is one Bohannon said he is a fan of.
They aren’t really an option team,” he said. They have their version of the way they do things, but, philosophically, it’s hard-nosed, run the football. Those things are going to be there.
“They do a nice job, they’re well-coached, they know who they are. They are fun to watch. They are a little more my style.”
Reinhardt is led by quarterback Billy Hall, who has run for 348 yards and five touchdowns. He also has also thrown for 366 yards, a touchdowns and two interceptions.
“Their quarterback is fun to watch,” Bohannon said. “He’s a good football player. He makes things go for them. He’s fun to watch because he’s such a tough, hard-nosed, gutsy player. He makes a lot of plays for them.”
This will be the first meeting between the schools, but the second NAIA opponent the Owls have faced this season. They opened the year with a 59-0 win over Point, a rival of Reinhardt’s in the Mid-South Conference.
Kennesaw State leads all of Division I in rushing at 411.3 yards per game, and Saturday’s game could be another opportunity for the Owls to work on the inside running game — something that will be needed as they begin their Big South Conference schedule and target the FCS playoffs.
Last week, former Etowah High School standout Bronson Rechsteiner ran for a team-record 221 yards, which included runs of 85, 64 and 43 yards — all up the middle.
Players listed as questionable are starting defensive lineman Andrew Butcher (lower-body) and reserve linemen Travis Bell (lower-body) and Tyler Moore (upper-body). Starting defensive back Demetrius Pettway is also questionable with an upper-body injury.
On offense, wide receiver Will Haigler is questionable with an illness, while receiver Monte Jones and starting running back Kyle Glover have lower-body injuries
Ruled out for Saturday’s game are running backs Adeolu Adeleke, Antavius Grier and Sam Outlaw with lower-body injuries, while Cade Radam and offensive lineman Andrew Fann are out with upper-body injuries.
Kennesaw State will be sporting a new helmet as part of its uniform assortment. The helmet will be white with the gold “KS” on one side and, for the first time, gold numbers on the other. Another aspect to the new uniform will be a new chrome-colored facemask.
The team will pair the new helmet with its black jerseys and white pants.
ON THE AIR
The game will be streamed on ESPN+ and can be heard on The Fan 3 at 1340 AM and 103.7 FM. It can also be streamed on the TuneIn app.