FCS Playoff Review: Weber State 26, Kennesaw State 20

NCAA Football
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The Score – No. 3 seed Weber State (10-3) beat Kennesaw State (11-3) 26-20 in the second round of the FCS playoffs.

Story Line – Adam Rodriguez’s 24-yard fumble return for a touchdown gave Weber State its first lead early in the third quarter and the Big Sky co-champ went on to win despite possessing the ball for only 21 minutes, 15 seconds.

Game Balls – Rodriguez picked up Kennesaw quarterback Jonathan Murphy’s errant pitch in providing the 19-17 lead with 13:32 left in the third. The senior defensive end finished with a season-high nine stops, including a 9-yard sack with 1:45 left and another 5-yard tackle for loss. But also credit junior linebacker Conner Mortensen, who had 14 solos among his career-high 15 tackles.

Key Stats – Kennesaw’s triple option offense controlled game clock, but Weber State had enough answers when it had to defend the pass. Murphy was just 2 of 8 for 23 yards and a touchdown and was sacked four times.

The Takeaway – Weber struggled to run the ball, but quarterback Jake Constantine provided a boost, going 19 of 31 for 234 yards and a touchdown with one interception. The defense was much-better in the second half, following up Rodriguez’s score by forcing a three-and-out from the Owls before Wildcats running back Josh Davis capped a 69-yard touchdown drive with a 2-yard run. On the Owls’ final two drives, they didn’t reach Weber territory.

Up Next – Weber State is anxious for a rematch against No. 6 seed Montana (10-3) in the quarterfinals next weekend. This time, the Wildcats are the host after falling 35-16 on the road on Nov. 16.

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