KENNESAW, Ga. - The University of Miami has their gold "Turnover Chain." The University of Georgia has golden shoulder spikes. The Tennessee Volunteers dunked footballs into a trash can after turnovers. Kennesaw State football, however, went a more ... simple route: the "Turnover Plank."
"I didn't know anything about it!" said Kennesaw State head coach Brian Bohannon. "I was like everybody else, all of a sudden you look on social media, and it's plank. I'm like, 'what the heck is plank?'"
That's a common reaction since the Owls started hoisting a piece of wood with a cartoonish face drawn in marker on their sidelines.
"I had to do some homework," said Bohannon.
The plank is a reference to the TV show "Ed, Edd n Eddy" on Cartoon Network. On the show, the plank -- with the same drawn-on face -- is basically one character's imaginary friend.
Recently, an Owls scout team wide receiver brought a real-life plank on the sidelines. After KSU created a turnover, the plank was passed on to the guy who made the big play, and the "Turnover Plank" was born.
"Get a turnover, go straight to the sideline, get the plank, hold it up, celebrate with your teammates," said defensive back Taylor Henkle, who received the plank after a game-sealing interception against Montana State. "It adds something to the defensive swag that we need."
Since its inception, the plank has been enjoying something of a star-turn. The plank wears a mini shirt and tie along as it's carried through the "Owl Walk" before games, sometimes the plank is seen sporting custom team gear on the sideline and it's even front and center during post-game locker room celebrations.
The plank may not be the main cause, but Kennesaw State is riding a dominant defense to Saturday's regular-season finale, which also serves as the Big South championship game when they host Monmouth. They allow just 13.8 points per game, a full six points better than the second-best defense. The team also leads the conference in turnovers caused with 27, so the plank may well have some more time in the spotlight ahead.
"Heck, man, you're supposed to have fun playing this game," said Bohannon. "They understand the moment and where we are and are having fun with it. I'm great with that."
The Owls host Monmouth Saturday at 2 p.m. A win would mean the first conference championship in Kennesaw State's young football history.