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UNA falls 41-17 at No. 4 Kennesaw State

KENNESAW, Ga. – Junior quarterback Blake Dever ignited the University of North Alabama offense in his first start of the season but the Lions couldn&#...

KENNESAW, Ga. – Junior quarterback Blake Dever ignited the University of North Alabama offense in his first start of the season but the Lions couldn’t slow down fourth ranked Kennesaw State’s ground attack as the Owls downed the Lions 41-17 at Fifth Third Bank Stadium.

The loss was UNA’s third straight and drops the Lions to 2-6 overall, while Kennesaw State improved to 7-1.

Dever led the Lions to a touchdown on the first drive of the game and UNA trailed just 20-17 late in the second  .
quarter before the Owls added a late touchdown.

Kennesaw State rushed for 316 yards in the first half and the Owls scored on four of their five first half possessions.

KSU drove for a score on its first possession of the second half to make it 34-17 and added a fourth quarter score for the final 41-17 count.

In its first season with an 11-game Division I FCS schedule, North Alabama is guaranteed its first losing season since 2002 with the loss.

UNA ended the game with 318 yards of total offense, passing for 261 and rushing for 57. Kennesaw finished with 490 rushing yards and did not complete a pass.

The Lions were just one-of-nine on third down conversions.

Dever was 23-of-32 for 261 yards and one touchdown.

Dever took the Lions down the field on a seven-play 64-yard drive on the game’s opening possession for a touchdown. Dever was five-for-five passing on the drive and Terence Humphrey covered the final four yards with a run for a touchdown. Joe Gurley added the PAT and UNA led 7-0 at 11:29 of the first quarter.

Kennesaw State got its first score later in the quarter as Daniel David scored on a one-yard run. Nathan Robertson’s kick was blocked and UNA still led 7-6 with 1:55 left in the quarter.

After forcing a UNA punt, Kennesaw State scored again as David took it in from 13 yards out. Robertson’s PAT gave KSU a 13-7 lead at 12:03 of the second quarter.

Dever and the Lions regained the lead on their next possession, driving 75 yards. Dever hit Humphrey with a 28-yard TD pass and Gurley’s PAT gave UNA a 14-13 lead with 9:03 remaining in the second quarter.

Kevin Ficklin scored on a 17-yard run for Kennesaw on the Owls’ next possession and Robertson’s extra-point put KSU back on top 20-14 with 4:58 left in the half.

North Alabama continued to move the ball as the Lions drove to the KSU 22-yard line before Gurley came on to kick a 43-yard field goal. The kick with 1:43 left in the half cut the Owls’ lead to 20-17.

KSU didn’t need long to get back to the end zone as Ficklin scored on a 30-yard run just four plays later to put KSU up 27-17 with 1:01 left in the half.

David scored his third TD of the day on a two-yard run at 7:51 of the third quarter to make it 34-17.

Jonathan Murphy scored the final touchdown of the day on one-yard run with 8:47 left in the game to make it 41-17.

The Lions drove to the Owls’ four-yard line in the fourth quarter but Dever was picked off in the end zone, ending the threat.

North Alabama hosts Campbell on Nov. 2 at Braly Stadium. Kickoff is set for 1:30 p.m.