September 03, 20161st2nd3rd4th1OT 2OT Final
Kennesaw State07037017
2nd Quarter
ETSUFG13:23JJ Jerman 37 Yd
KSUTD00:02WHITE 9 Yd Run (GENOVESE kick)
3rd Quarter
ETSUTD07:45Jajuan Stinson 1 Yd Run (JJ Jerman kick)
4th Quarter
ETSUTD15:00Austin Herink 1 Yd Run (JJ Jerman kick)
ETSUFG15:00JJ Jerman 24 Yd
Stats at a GlanceETSUKSU
1st Downs2119
3rd Down Conversions6-156-16
4th Down Conversions0-01-2
Passing (Comp-Att)214 (18-26) 172 (12-18)
Rushing (Att)106 (43) 166 (57)
Total Yards320338
Fumbles Lost02
Bucs open season Saturday night at Kennesaw State
Running back Jajuan Stinson breaks a tackle last season against Kennesaw State.
Bucs open season Saturday night at Kennesaw State
Friday, September 2, 2016

ETSU, KSU gear up for rematch from last year’s season opener

KENNESAW, Ga. (Sept. 2, 2016) – The ETSU football team is set to open its 2016 season Saturday as the Buccaneers get a rematch with Kennesaw State. 

The Bucs and Owls – who squared off as a pair of start-up programs in last year’s season opener in Johnson City – meet for round two on Saturday night at Fifth Third Bank Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7:07 p.m. 


After a 12-year hiatus, the ETSU football team returned to the gridiron in 2015. The Bucs – who played as an FCS Independent a year ago – are now a member of the Southern Conference in 2016. 

The Bucs return 44 letterwinners from a year ago, while 31 players were redshirted and 34 newcomers joined ETSU’s roster in 2016. Thirty-five of the 44 letterwinners are featured in ETSU’s starting two-deep this weekend. 

ETSU’s two-deep features one freshman, 10 redshirt freshmen (six offense/four defense), 27 sophomores (16 offense/11 defense), nine juniors (four offense/five defense), two seniors (one offense/one defense) and one graduate student (Ryan Powers). 

ETSU still features one of the youngest rosters in FCS, as 96 of its 110 players (88-percent) are underclassmen (24 true freshman, 26 red-shirt freshman and 46 sophomores). The rest of the Bucs’ roster is made up of 11 juniors, two seniors and one graduate student. 

Sophomore linebacker Dylan Weigel (Pickerington, Ohio) earned Preseason Southern Conference honors as the league office released the preseason teams at Media Day in July ... Weigel, who was a finalist for the STATS FCS Freshman of the Year award, totaled a team-leading 127 tackles in 11 games for the Buccaneers in 2015. The Buccaneer standout led all FCS players in solo tackles per game (7.2) and ranked ninth in total tackles per game (11.5), while his 20-tackle effort against Emory & Henry was tied for the sixth highest total in FCS play a year ago. The 20 tackles were the most by a freshman at the FCS level and were tied for the second-most in ETSU single-game history. 

Sophomore kicker JJ Jerman (Seymour, Tenn.) and senior defensive back Tavian Lott (D’Lo, Miss.) also earned preseason honors … Jerman was one of 27 place-kickers named to the Fred Mitchell Award Watch List, while Lott was placed on the Senior Bowl Watch List … Jerman, who led ETSU in scoring with 46 points last season, was 22-for-22 in extra-points and 8-of-13 in field goals made in 2015 … Lott started all 11 games for the Blue and Gold in 2015 – totaling 31 tackles (18 solo) and led team with two interceptions. 

After not having one senior on the 2015 roster, ETSU will graduate two seniors this season ... The two seniors on this year’s Buccaneer roster are Tavian Lott and Chad Pritchard (Elizabethton, Tenn.) ... Meanwhile - defensive back Ryan Powers (Jupiter, Fla.) – who transferred from Stetson – is the lone graduate student on ETSU’s roster. 

Last season, ETSU finished 10th in the FCS in fewest penalty yards (454), while ranking 17th in fewest penalties per game (57) last season ... Individually, Dylan Weigel was the national leader in solo tackles (7.2) per game, while he also ranked ninth in total tackles (11.5) per game ... Sophomore defensive back Domenique Williams (Charlotte, N.C.) ranked ninth in combined kick returns yards (850), while sophomore quarterback Austin Herink (Cleveland, Tenn.) ranked 33rd in completion percentage (60.4), and 66th in passing efficiency (120.7) and yards per pass attempt (6.6) ... Junior wide receiver Dalton Ponchillia (Nashville, Tenn.) ranked 40th in yards per reception (16.1). 

ETSU went 2-9 in 2015. 


Kennesaw State is coming off its first season in program history ... The Owls went 6-5 in 2015, including a 2-5 mark in Big South play (5th). 

KSU – who returns 10 starters on both offense and defense – was picked to finish third in the Big South this season. 

The Owls led all FCS in passing yards per completion last year (19.05), while ranking sixth in rushing offense (293.0) and 14th in total defense (301.2). 

The Owls run the spread option on offense and feature a 4-2-5 defensive formation. 

KSU totaled 3,398 rushing yards in 2015. The mark ranks as the fifth-highest single-season total in Big South history. 

The Owls rushed for more than 300 yards in a game five times, three shy of the Big South Conference record of eight set by VMI in 2008. 

KSU returns its entire starting backfield, along with senior quarterback Trey White. 

The Owls went 5-1 at Fifth Third Bank Stadium with their lone setback coming to No. 13/15 Charleston Southern, 28-14, on Nov. 7. 

KSU is receiving votes in several preseason Top 25 polls, while Saturday marks its first-ever night game at Fifth Third Bank Stadium. 


For the second straight year, ETSU and Kennesaw State will face off in the season opener ... In a game featuring two start-up programs in 2015, the Owls rallied for a 56-16 victory over the Bucs last Sept. 3 at Kermit Tipton Stadium in Johnson City. 

Following a 12-yard touchdown run by running back Jajuan Stinson (Knoxville, Tenn.) midway through the second quarter, ETSU led Kennesaw State, 13-7; however, the Owls rallied with 49 straight points until JJ Jerman’s third and final field goal of the night with 5:05 remaining in the game stopped the run, resulting in the 56-16 final score. 

Fourteen of KSU’s points came off turnovers. 


Fans can listen to the radio call on WXSM-AM 640 The Extreme Sports Monster or on 104.9 NASH Icon as David Jackson will be filling in for “Voice of the Bucs” Jay Sandos and former Buccaneer quarterback Matt Wilhjelm will be the color analyst. Jessica Larkin will be the sideline reporter. 

The Buccaneer Sports Network will launch its pregame broadcast one hour and 30 minutes prior to kickoff with the 30-minute long Eastman Credit Union Tailgate Show, followed by the Carl Torbush Pregame Show powered by Ford which will lead up to 30 minutes prior to kickoff. The First Tennessee Bank Countdown to Kickoff will then lead into the final moments before kickoff. An audio stream will be available via or by clicking here.  

Saturday’s game will also be video streamed live on the Big South Network. Click here for live video. 

The game will also be broadcast live on Peachtree TV (Georgia market) as Brian Katrek will handle play-by-play duties and D.J. Shockley will be the color analyst).

In addition to following the Bucs on your mobile device and/or tablet with live audio and video, fans can get up to the minute stats by following the action via StatBroadcast. Fans can access live stats on their computers or mobile devices via clicking here. 


For complete information on ETSU Football, follow the program via social media on Twitter (@ETSUFootball), Instagram (@ETSUFootball), Snapchat (@ETSUFootball) and on Facebook (ETSU Buccaneer Football).  

ETSU fans wanting to receive Buccaneer news, score updates, in-game promotions and much more sent to their mobile device can do so by signing up for “Buc Updates.” Click here to sign up today!    


Following Saturday’s season opener, ETSU heads into its open week and begins preparations for the SoCon opener, which is set for Saturday, Sept. 17 when the Bucs host Western Carolina in at Bristol Motor Speedway … For ticket information, please call 423-BRISTOL or click here

For more information on Buccaneer football, visit and click on the football link.