March 23, 2017

(STATS) - Kennesaw State is set to conclude spring practice with its spring game Friday night (7 p.m. ET, ESPN3) at Fifth Third Bank Stadium.

Make no mistake, the Owls are feeling prime time.

"Playing under the lights at Fifth Third Bank Stadium is special for our players and our fans, and this will be a great way for us to cap the spring season," coach Brian Bohannon said.

Coming off back-to-back winning records as an FCS startup program, Kennesaw State has enough experienced players to be considered Charleston Southern's chief threat in the Big South title race. The Owls finished 8-3 last season and have a 14-8 record over their first two campaigns.

Among the 17 returning starters are seven who earned a form of all-conference honors: quarterback Chandler Burks, wide receiver Justin Sumpter, offensive lineman Zach Mitchler, defensive linemen Desmond Johnson and Tonarius Portress, and linebackers Anthony Gore Jr. and Izzy Sam. Safety Taylor Henkle also seeks a return to his form as a first-team selection in 2015.

The Owls, whose redshirt freshmen and newcomers have worked to join the rotation this spring, are replacing two key players with big-play ability, running back Chaston Bennett and defensive back Dante Blackmon.

Their more challenging 2017 schedule kicks off on Aug. 31 when they visit Samford, an FCS playoff qualifier last season.

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