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Kennesaw State's Xavier Shepherd earned the Big South Conference Offensive Player of the Week award for the second straight week.

Xavier Shepherd winning the Big South Conference Offensive Player of the Week could may be becoming a habit.

The 6-foot, 205-pound sophomore set a career high with 179 yards rushing with three touchdowns, and went 8-for-11 passing for 109 yards in the Owls' 34-15 win over Hampton to earn the award for the second straight week.

For the season, Shepherd has run for 438 yards, which is third in the Big South, and leads the conference in rushing touchdowns with nine and in scoring with 54 points.

Shepherd assumed the starting quarterback duties following the season opener with Reinhardt when Jonathan Murphy was injured. Shepherd has led Kennesaw State to a 3-1 mark including a win over the No. 17 Jacksonville State, and he is likely to get his fifth straight start Saturday when the Owls host North Carolina A&T.

CONTINUE TO RISE

The Owls moved up two spots to No. 15 in the latest STATS Perform FCS top-25. They also jumped four spots in the American Football Coaches Association poll to No. 13. 

Defending FCS national champion Sam Houston continues to lead the way at No. 1. It is followed by Eastern Washington, North Dakota State, Southern Illinois and Montana.

The Owls are the only Big South team in the poll. No conference teams are currently under consideration. Future ASUN opponent Jacksonville State, which KSU defeated two weeks ago, is ranked 24th. In addition, Central Arkansas and Eastern Kentucky are receiving votes. 

Mercer is also receiving votes, and was the first team outside the top 25. 

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