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Kennesaw State knocks off Jacksonville State 17-7 to move on to the FCS Quarterfinals

The curse of the No. 3 seed strikes again

NCAA Football: Jacksonville State at Georgia Tech Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

For the second straight week, Plank has reason to smile. The Kennesaw State Owls continue to be one of the most impressive stories of the season at the FCS level. In just their third year of playing football, the Owls are going to the FCS Quarterfinals following their 17-7 win over the Jacksonville State Gamecocks.

Kennesaw State relied on its defense to win this one. The Owls held superstar running back Roc Thomas to just 83 total yards on 22 touches and the Gamecocks had no answer once the Owls shut him down. Bryant Horn wasn’t able to have much success through the air and could only muster 88 passing yards against the Owls defense. Jacksonville State finished the game with just 187 total yards.

The Owls primarily kept the ball on the ground against the Gamecocks, but quarterback Chandler Burks hit some big passes at just the right time to keep the chains moving. Kennesaw State finished the game with 339 total yards and won the time of possession battle by almost 10 minutes.

Third down was big in this game. While Kennesaw State was able to convert on 6 of its 14 third down chances, Jacksonville State was only able to pick up 2 of its 12 opportunities.

It’s yet another brutal postseason loss for John Grass and Jacksonville State. This was the third time in four seasons that the Gamecocks were awarded a first round bye and the No. 3 seed by the FCS Selection Committee and each time they were upset by an unranked team in their first game.

Kennesaw State will go on the road next week and face the winner of South Dakota-Sam Houston State. The Bearkats were up 41-14 at halftime when this was published so it seems likely that the Owls will be making a trip to Huntsville, Texas.