Kennesaw State to play at Jacksonville State in 2023

By Kevin Kelley -

The Kennesaw State Owls will play at the Jacksonville State Gamecocks in 2023, has learned.

Back in 2017, Kennesaw State and Jacksonville State signed an agreement for a two-game series. The first game of the series was played on November 17, 2018, at SunTrust Park in Atlanta, Ga.

At the time the agreement was signed, the date of the second game of the series was to be determined. According to a copy of a letter obtained from Kennesaw State University via a state open records request, the second and final game of the series has been set. Kennesaw State will travel to face Jacksonville State at JSU Stadium in Jacksonville, Ala., on September 2, 2023.

Kennesaw State, a member of the Big South Conference, and Jacksonville State, a member of the Ohio Valley Conference, have met twice on the gridiron. As previously mentioned, the two schools met in 2018 at SunTrust Park, with the Owls coming out on top 60-52 after five overtimes.

The first meeting between the two schools came in the second round of the 2017 FCS Playoffs. Kennesaw State traveled to Jacksonville State and defeated the Gamecocks 17-7.

The Kennesaw State Owls now have two non-conference games scheduled for the 2023 season. The Owls are scheduled to host the Furman Paladins on Sept. 16, two weeks after opening at Jacksonville State.

Kennesaw State is the first known non-conference opponent for Jacksonville State’s football schedule in 2023.

Kennesaw State is 4-1 overall this season (0-0 Big South) following wins over Point, Alabama State, Missouri State, and Reinhardt and a loss at Kent State in overtime. Jacksonville State is 4-2 (1-1 OVC) with victories over Chattanooga, Eastern Washington, North Alabama, and Tennessee State and losses to Southeastern Louisiana and Austin Peay.

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Comments (3)

I have both schools leaping to FBS and joining C-USA in my current realignment predictions, and then playing each other on Thanksgiving weekend in football.

C-USA has added schools directly from FCS before – Charlotte and Old Dominion. Plus if C-USA (or even the American) are unable to attract either of the Sun Belt’s Georgia schools, Kennesaw State, a fast-growing program, would be a nice substitute.

However I see the American primarily poaching schools who were in C-USA at some point prior to 2013 if the American loses everyone but ECU, Tulane, Tulsa, Navy and WSU to power conferences. Six C-USA schools fit this profile – Marshall, UAB, Southern Miss, Rice, UTEP and Charlotte. The only post-2013 schools I could see jump to the American are FAU and FIU to keep the conference in Florida in case of USF and UCF bolting to the Big 12 (which would increase the state’s Power 5 total to 5 across three conferences).

C-USA could easily grab the more westerly schools in the Sun Belt – Ark State, Louisiana, ULM and Texas State but the Sun Belt will fight hard to retain the eastern schools. With USA, Troy, and both GSU’s not options, that is where JSU and KSU come in for C-USA.