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    ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — Having a rocket scientist for a father and a Harvard education doesn't prevent Ryan Fitzpatrick from being superstitious. The Buccaneers' journeyman backup is beginning to think this so-called curse that's affected most every starter on every team Fitzpatrick has played for just might be real. 'I've had a lot of opportunities, whether through injuries or weird circumstances,' he said. 'Hopefully, it's not really true, but it sure does seem to happen an awful lot.' Beginning with his rookie season with St. Louis in 2005, the seventh-round pick has started in place of everyone from Marc Bulger (Rams) to Carson Palmer (Cincinnati), and Jake Locker (Tennessee) to Case Keenum (Houston). And then there was 2015, when Fitzpatrick landed the Jets' starting job after Geno Smith had his jaw broken by teammate IK Enemkpali. Eerily, it happened yet again last weekend, when Fitzpatrick was forced into action after starter Jameis Winston sprained his throwing shoulder on the opening drive of a 38-33 loss at Arizona. With Winston in jeopardy of missing a game for the first time in his career, Fitzpatrick is in a position to start against one of his former — and perhaps, favorite — teams Sunday when Tampa Bay (2-3) travels to play the Buffalo Bills (3-2). 'It feels like home every time I go back,' he said of Buffalo, where he spent four of his 13 NFL seasons before being cut in 2013. Fitzpatrick would not have gotten this opportunity after he contemplated retiring following a dreadful season with the Jets. He finished 3-8 and threw 12 touchdowns versus 17 interceptions a year after nearly leading New York to the playoffs. 'I really had to sit down and reflect and figure out if I wanted to still do this or not,' Fitzpatrick said before signing with Tampa Bay in May. He proved it was the right decision with his performance against Arizona, in which he and the defense rallied the Bucs from a 31-0 third-quarter deficit. 'Being able to get out on the field and playing, I mean, I still love this game. I still love being out there,' Fitzpatrick said after going 22 of 32 for 290 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions. It was the typical gunslinger-type outing his former Bills teammates are familiar with happening both for and against them. 'Do I have a favorite Ryan Fitzpatrick memory? They're all so good,' veteran defensive tackle Kyle Williams said. The one he didn't need to be reminded of was Fitzpatrick throwing for 374 yards in the Jets' 37-31 win that spoiled the Bills home opener last year. 'Next question,' Williams said. 'That's a bad one.' Some things to watch out for as Tampa Bay makes just its second trip to Buffalo in team history: THE MATCHUP: The Bills are coming off their bye week with a chance of getting off to a 4-2 or better start for the fourth time during a 17-season playoff drought — the longest active streak in North America's four major pro sports. The Bucs look to rebound from two losses, including a 19-14 defeat to New England in which Nick Folk, since released, missed three field-goal attempts. SHADY SHUTOUT: Bills running back LeSean McCoy says it's time he started producing after being held without a touchdown through the first five games of a season for the first time in his nine-year career. 'It's been long enough. What is this, Week 8, 7?' McCoy said. 'Yeah. I've got to get it back. We've got to get this thing rolling.' McCoy has combined for 169 yards rushing since gaining 110 in a season-opening win over the Jets. SANS SACKS: With a league-worst six sacks, the Bucs haven't had one from a defensive end since Noah Spence had the team's only quarterback trap in a season-opening win over Chicago. That's a big reason the team ranks 31st in pass defense, allowing 302 yards per game. 'Those numbers are not nearly what they need to be,' coordinator Mike Smith said. 'We've got to get it turned around because if we don't, it's going to be more of the same.' BANGED-UP BILLS: Starting tight end Charles Clay (left knee) won't play, and starting receiver Jordan Matthews' status is uncertain while returning to practice this week since breaking his right thumb. The two account for 30 of 85 receptions and 420 of the team's 910 yards receiving. BEEN THERE: The Bucs' aren't concerned with their slow start a year after rallying from a 3-5 record to finish 9-7 for their first winning season since 2010. 'We aren't going to act like we haven't been here before,' receiver Mike Evans said. 'Hopefully, it won't have to get to that, but I think we need to start winning ASAP.' ___ AP Sports Writer Fred Goodall in Tampa, Florida, contributed to this report. ___ For more NFL coverage: http://www.pro32.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP_NFL .
  • ATLANTA (AP) _ The winning numbers in Thursday evening's drawing of the Georgia Lottery's 'All or Nothing Evening' game were: 02-04-12-13-15-16-17-18-19-21-22-23 (two, four, twelve, thirteen, fifteen, sixteen, seventeen, eighteen, nineteen, twenty-one, twenty-two, twenty-three)
  • TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — If a disappointing start isn't a big enough chip on Florida State's shoulder, the Seminoles can draw some additional incentive from their opponent Saturday. The Louisville Cardinals. Yes, the Cardinals who dealt the Seminoles one of their worst losses in school history in a 63-20 rout last September. That was also the game that helped catapult Lamar Jackson — who scored five touchdowns in the blowout — to being named the Heisman Trophy winner. Cornerback Levonta Taylor said the memories of that game remain vivid in his teammate's minds. 'We take it very personal because of last year, what happened,' he said. The 43-point loss wasn't the worst in school history (that remains a 49-point thrashing against Florida in 1973) but it did start a run where the Seminoles have gone just 10-6 over their past 16 games. Coach Jimbo Fisher has stressed to his players that last year's game doesn't matter anymore, but that might be easier said than done. 'Different team, different place,' Fisher said. 'You don't take any of that (what happened last year) personally. If you take it personally, then it gets in your head and you make bad decisions ' Fisher's bigger concerns are on stopping Jackson. The Cardinals' signal caller grew up in Pompano Beach and will have plenty of family making the trip from South Florida. He leads the nation in total offense at 430.3 yards per game, which is more than 80 teams in the Football Bowl Subdivision, including Florida State (346.6). The 6-foot-3, 200-pound junior had 362 yards, four rushing touchdowns and a TD pass in three quarters against the Seminoles last season. Louisville led 14-10 in the second quarter before breaking it open with 49 straight points. 'He's definitely the most dynamic player I have faced. He is agile and quick. You just have to contain him,' linebacker Matthew Thomas said. 'Looking at the film it was obvious that we had a lot of mistakes on defense, too big of mistakes.' Jackson had 512 yards of total offense in last week's 45-42 loss to Boston College , including 180 on the ground to become the school's all-time rushing leader. He also accounted for five touchdowns, including two passing. Louisville coach Bobby Petrino said this week that Jackson 'is playing as well as anyone could ever play.' The Cardinals (4-3, 1-3) won their ACC opener against North Carolina but have dropped their last three in conference play. Jackson has accounted for eight touchdowns the two times he has faced FSU. His first 300-yard passing game came in Tallahassee two years ago in a 41-21 loss. Fisher compared Jackson to Michael Vick, saying that both players were great with their natural instincts. 'He has the complete ability to read and throw down the field and create long plays, throw it short,' Fisher said. 'And then the complete ability not just to run or run over you, but I mean you can't get your hands on him.' Even though Florida State (2-3, 2-2 ACC), has struggled against dual threat quarterbacks the past couple seasons, it comes into the game 28th in total defense (330.6 yards per game). Safety Derwin James, who leads the team in tackles with 29, missed last year's game due to a knee injury but is one of the better open-field tacklers on the team. Taylor remarked that he hoped having James back there 'might put a little bit of fear in Lamar Jackson's heart just seeing him back there. Hopefully he can come in and be an impact in the game.' The Seminoles, who lost to No. 16 North Carolina State and No. 8 Miami earlier this season at home, are trying to avoid going 0-3 at Doak Campbell Stadium for the first time since 1974. ___ More AP college football: http://collegefootball.ap.org and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25 ___ Follow Joe Reedy on Twitter at https://twitter.com/joereedy
  • TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida Gov. Rick Scott has won the first round in a legal tug-of-war over his mandate that nursing homes and assisted living facilities install generators. The 1st District Court of Appeal on Thursday rejected a legal challenge to emergency rules put in place by the Scott administration. A panel of judges split 2-1 over the challenge. The court has not yet issued a full opinion explaining the decision. Groups that represent nursing homes and assisted living facilities asked the appeal court to review whether or not there was an emergency that warranted the rules. A separate legal challenge to the actual rules is still ongoing. Scott issued his order after residents at the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills died in the days after Hurricane Irma wiped out power to much of South Florida.
  • Someone’s pet was dumped and later found living in a Westside home that is under construction. Abbey, who is a lab mix, was found covered in fleas and left to die, but someone found her before that happened. 'It’s an epidemic in Duval County,' Mike Merrill with Florida Urgent Rescue said.  Abbey was found in an empty house with infections. A local animal rescue says she was possibly dumped @ActionNewsJax pic.twitter.com/aezg57Xulr — Danielle Avitable (@DanielleANjax) October 19, 2017 Merrill said there is a rash of animals being dumped throughout the county. 'I think it's because they make it very difficult for people to surrender dogs,' Merrill said.  On Wednesday, Merrill said he got a call to rescue the latest dog that was possibly dumped who they now call Abbey. Abbey was all smiles even though she's infested with fleas & tapeworms. She's a fighter! @ActionNewsJax pic.twitter.com/efc8wL5FK5 — Danielle Avitable (@DanielleANjax) October 19, 2017 She was found by a homeowner in a Westside house that is under construction. 'He came yesterday morning to the building and there was a dog laying on the floor in the drywall dust,' Merrill said.  Abbey was found with infections all throughout her body and she's infested with fleas and tapeworms.   Merrill said she's in rough shape, but in good spirits.  Merrill said the homeowner tried to call the city to get animal control to the house.  'The person they spoke to said, 'we can't do anything if the dog is inside the building,'' Merrill said.  Action News Jax reached out to the city Thursday morning and again in the afternoon to find out why no one came to help the dog and was told the “inquiry was forwarded.” 'It was truly heartbreaking to see her there, but encouraging that she stood up on her own,' Merrill said.  He said she’s going to need a lot of medical attention, but she is going to recover.
  • MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — The Miami Dolphins rank last in the NFL in half a dozen major offensive categories and have been outgained by 363 yards this season. Yet because they keep winning close games, only three teams in the AFC have a better record. 'We r not normal,' reads a T-shirt players recently began to wear. That shirt would fit the New York Jets, who have been soft against the run and awful in the fourth quarter, but won respect in a loss last week. Not normal. It's also not normal for the two overachieving AFC East rivals to meet twice before the season's halfway point, but their 2017 rematch will come Sunday. Here are things to know as the Dolphins (3-2) try to avenge a 20-6 loss to the Jets (3-3) in Week 3: LAST WEEK: The Dolphins are coming off their best game of the season, a 20-17 victory at Atlanta. They rallied from a 17-0 halftime deficit against the defending NFC champions and jump-started an offense that totaled three touchdowns in the first 18 quarters of the year. Coach Adam Gase said the NFL's biggest upset of the week didn't surprise his team. 'We live in a different world in our building,' Gase said. 'What everybody else thinks and what we think are way off.' The rebuilding, surprising Jets are coming off their best defeat. An overturned Jets touchdown was the difference as they lost 24-17 to defending Super Bowl champion New England. New York began the season with low expectations, but is only a game behind the division-leading Patriots. 'We're probably a little disappointed that we're sitting here at 3-3, but at the same time not discouraged,' quarterback Josh McCown said. 'We are improving every week in different areas, and we feel good about that.' MESSAGE: The Dolphins are above .500 even though a series of events could have derailed the season. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill suffered a season-ending knee injury in training camp; the opener was postponed because of Hurricane Irma; linebacker Lawrence Timmons briefly went AWOL; and offensive line coach Chris Foerster resigned after a video surfaced showing him snorting wide powder. At that point, Gase had the 'We r not normal' T-shirts made. 'When things start going in different directions and the sky is falling for everyone else and our guys are just plugging along, I felt like it was a good week to give those out,' Gase said. 'The guys embraced that. The things they've fought through, a lot of people wouldn't have done what they've done so far.' WHAT'S THE RUSH?: After running for 256 yards against Jacksonville in Week 4, the Jets' ground game has gone mostly silent. New York gained 34 yards rushing at Cleveland two weeks ago, with Matt Forte out with turf toe and Bilal Powell straining a calf early in the game. Forte returned last Sunday, but he and rookie Elijah McGuire each ran for just 22 yards as the Jets netted 74. The versatile Powell, who leads New York with 240 yards rushing, could return this week — which would be a big boost for the suddenly slumping backfield. 'We have to keep working it and improving it because it has to be part of what we do,' McCown said. 'We weren't able to run the ball as effectively (Sunday) as we'd like and we have to look at why. ... We have to be better, we know that. We have to be more balanced.' EMPTY SACKS: Defensive ends Muhammad Wilkerson and Leonard Williams were projected to be the big playmakers of a defensive line that was expected to be one of the Jets' strengths this season. Instead, the duo has been mostly quiet, with no sacks through six games and combining for eight quarterback hurries — seven of them from Williams. The Jets have seven total sacks, which ranks second-to-last in the NFL, and none has come from a defensive lineman. 'We know that once we stop the run, we make a team one-dimensional,' Wilkerson said. 'We just basically have to stop the run.' Jay Cutler has been much better this year when he has time to throw, but drew boos in his Dolphins home debut two weeks ago, when fans chanted for backup Matt Moore. 'If they want to chant, they can chant,' Cutler said. 'We've got to give them a better product on offense to root for.' Cutler ranks 32nd in the league in yards per completion. ASJ IS A-OK: Austin Seferian-Jenkins has quickly made up for lost time. The Jets tight end was suspended for the first two games for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy last year while he was with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. But in the four games since, Seferian-Jenkins leads NFL tight ends with a career-high 23 catches, two more than Philadelphia's Zach Ertz. ___ AP Sports Writer Dennis Waszak in New York contributed to this report. ___ For more NFL coverage: http://www.pro32.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP_NFL ___ Follow Steven Wine on Twitter: http://twitter.com/Steve_Wine.
  • Neighbors in St. Johns County are outraged after hearing about plans to possibly build a massive gas station right across the street from where they live. The Texas based chain Buc-ee’s filed a pre-application to open the convenience store near World Golf Village. A massive gas station called Buc-ee's that houses 120 fuel stations could be coming to St. Johns Co @ActionNewsJax pic.twitter.com/ctx1x71VuD — Danielle Avitable (@DanielleANjax) October 19, 2017 'I don't want it, it's getting too congested now,' neighbor Nancy Kohlbeck said.  And hundreds of people living in World Golf Village feel the same way about the Texas convenience store chain. 'Trying to be upscale and this will just kill the whole flavor of the neighborhood,' neighbor Michele Thomas said.  I spoke to neighbors about the site plans & they tell me they don't want it to be built in their area @ActionNewsJax pic.twitter.com/Lqxr2HPw0Y — Danielle Avitable (@DanielleANjax) October 19, 2017 In less than 48 hours, close to 1,000 people signed a Change.org petition to stop it from being built near their neighborhood.  'I know that development is inevitable here, but I think it's our chance to control what kind of development we have,' neighbor Aaron Enos said.  The Texas based chain Buc-ee’s filed a pre application to open the convenience store near WGV https://t.co/wPVhW1YKmx @ActionNewsJax pic.twitter.com/yvL1El3auV — Danielle Avitable (@DanielleANjax) October 19, 2017 Buc-ee’s filed a pre-application for the 120 gas pump station and at about 53,000 square feet, it’s about the size of a football field.  'It will drive down our property values. There's no way people will want to live near something that huge,' Thomas said.  The property off Interstate 95 near World Golf Village is where the gas station would be built.  'I'm not against business, but put it in the right area,' Kohlbeck said.  Some neighbors call this a sign of the unstoppable growth in St. Johns County.  'It's just progress, it’s going to happen,' neighbor, Van Fuller said.  Others just wish the growth would come at a little smaller pace. 'Maybe we can have something like local businesses,' Enos said.  The petition will go before county commissioners in hopes of halting the construction. Michael Ryan, Communications Manager for the St. Johns County Board of County Commissioners, released the following statement on the proposed Buc-ee's station: “We are aware of community interest in the proposed service station project, but at this point in time we are only in possession of a pre-application and have not been provided with specific details related to the project. Once an application is filed, the project will undergo development review and will be subject to land use and zoning requirements. Should the developer request variances, those items will be considered by the Board of County Commissioners, where the public will have an opportunity to provide feedback. Residents are encouraged to email or call County staff or their Commissioner with any comment they may have about this project.”
  • Southampton Road in Jacksonville is covered in water and so are the streets that surround it. Neighbors say it’s been a big problem after Hurricane Irma. “These people had to abandon their bottom floor. The whole bottom floor apartment flooded completely,” said neighbor Jimmy Karris. Karris is the maintenance worker for these apartments. He says the water got high enough Thursday to threaten homes.  “When the high tide comes up, it comes up pretty close to the bottom of the building,” said Karris. Action News Jax First Alert Meteorologist Garret Bedenbaugh says a combination of a new moon cycle and persistent onshore winds is causing the flooding. We also looked at a map of this area and saw how these roads back up to smaller creeks that connect to the St Johns River. “Whenever I drive through here, the water came up to here on my truck,” said neighbor Christina Horine. Neighbors call it frustrating, a feeling that’s become their new norm. Action News Jax reached out to the city multiple times by email and phone to see what’s being done about the flooding issue. We have yet to hear back.
  • NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — When South Carolina and Mississippi State met in an all-Southeastern Conference national championship game last season, it underscored the league's dramatic transformation in the post-Pat Summitt era. Anyone watching SEC women's basketball for the first time since Summitt stepped down in 2012 would hardly recognize it. 'There's no denying there has been a lot of change in the Southeastern Conference,' said Andy Landers, who coached Georgia from 1979-2015 and is now an SEC Network analyst. 'For probably 25-30 years, Tennessee, Georgia and some mix of Auburn, LSU, Vanderbilt probably was the top of the league. Mississippi State and South Carolina were always at the bottom of the league.' Not anymore. South Carolina, which reached the NCAA Tournament just twice from 1992-2011, is the reigning national champion and has arguably the nation's top player in A'ja Wilson. The Gamecocks have earned at least a share of the last four SEC titles and are favored to win it again this season. 'I'm extremely proud of where we've come from,' said South Carolina coach Dawn Staley, who is entering her 10th season. 'It is what fuels us.' Mississippi State has emerged as the Gamecocks' top challenger for now. Tennessee, which won eight national titles during Summitt's tenure, has been relegated to playing catch-up. Georgia, Vanderbilt and LSU are struggling to regain the relevance they once enjoyed as annual NCAA Tournament teams. Tennessee hasn't been to the Final Four since its 2008 national title. The Lady Vols have still reached four regional finals in six seasons under coach Holly Warlick, but lately they've taken another step back. After going 86-20 in Warlick's first three seasons, Tennessee went 42-26 the last two years. Last season marked just the second time the Lady Vols failed to advance beyond the NCAA Tournament's round of 32 . 'I don't care who's playing (for the title), if it's not Tennessee, it motivates you,' Warlick said. 'We're at a point where we're expected to be there, we're expected to win games. It's a part of Tennessee. It's a part of our Lady Vol tradition. If we're not there, I'm not very happy.' Tennessee isn't the only traditional SEC stalwart that isn't what it used to be. LSU made five straight Final Fours from 2004-08 but hasn't won an NCAA Tournament game since 2014. LSU fell to 10-21 when injuries decimated the roster in 2015-16 before bouncing back to reach the NCAA Tournament last season. The Tigers know there's still more work to be done. 'We're not just doing it for us,' LSU guard Raigyne Moncrief said. 'There are so many other people, legacies that paved the way for us and went to five straight Final Fours. We want to do it for them as well. ... We want to make it back to the tournament and let people know LSU's always a tournament team.' Vanderbilt and Georgia have similar goals. Georgia made 20 straight NCAA Tournaments from 1995-2014 but has earned just one NCAA bid over the last three seasons. Georgia's streak ended in its final season under Landers, who had led the Lady Bulldogs to five Final Four berths. Lady Bulldogs senior Mackenzie Engram acknowledges Georgia's streak caused her to assume she'd play in the NCAA Tournament every year. 'Being part of the 'bad' Georgia history is not something that I wanted to do, but this is my last year and I'm trying to leave that behind and move forward and put Georgia basketball back to where it was before,' Engram said. Vanderbilt reached 15 straight NCAA Tournaments from 2000-14 but hasn't been back since. The Commodores have gone a combined 47-46 over the last three seasons. Commodores coach Stephanie White says the SEC's depth makes it 'incredibly difficult' for a program to regain its footing after it stumbles, but she adds that 'it's doable.' 'You certainly want to play in the best league in the country,' White said. 'You certainly want to go against the best teams in the country, and so it gives us as a team that's trying to get back in the NCAA Tournament, a great measuring stick. Every night we're competing against the best.' And it takes time to climb back on top. South Carolina and Mississippi State have shown what a little patience can do for a program, if its headed in the right direction. The Gamecocks finished below .500 each of Staley's first two seasons. 'Sometimes you've got to prepare to handle losing before you're able to handle winning,' Staley said. 'We had our fair share of losing the first two years. We learned and grew from those experiences to set us up for being gracious winners.' ___ Follow Steve Megargee at www.twitter.com/stevemegargee
  • ATLANTA (AP) — As protests over racial injustice grab national attention in pro sports, some college and university officials are having pre-emptive talks with student-athletes and consulting each other amid concerns that such actions will spread to college sports, according to emails released Thursday. After five black cheerleaders at Kennesaw State University knelt during the national anthem at a September football game, athletic officials there sought advice from their counterparts at schools including the University of Georgia, Georgia Tech, Duke University and Purdue University. The responses they got back offer a glimpse at what's happening in college athletic programs trying to strike a balance between supporting free expression and offending fans and donors. The emails were released Thursday in response to a request for Kennesaw State documents under Georgia's open records law. It was filed by Davante Lewis, the brother of the one of the cheerleaders who took a knee. The kneeling demonstrations have been inspired by former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick's refusal to stand for the national anthem last season to protest police mistreatment of minorities. At the University of Georgia, home of the nation's No. 3-ranked football team, a top athletic official says they advise head coaches to respect students but be prepared. 'Respect the decision of student-athletes to exercise their rights and be careful not to say or do anything that could be misinterpreted as discouraging student-athletes from engaging in expressive activity,' wrote Claude Felton, senior associate athletic director at the University of Georgia. Also, 'know in advance of any planned expression of beliefs by our student-athletes (e.g., kneeling, raised fist),' he wrote. At Georgia State, football coach Shawn Elliott has spoken with his team about understanding what they're protesting. 'Several of our football players walked in the Black Lives Matter protests a few years ago and we encouraged them to do it, but to also understand why they were there ...,' Mike Holmes, associate athletic director for sports communications, wrote to his colleague in Kennesaw State's athletic department. At Georgia Tech, discussions between coaches and athletes have focused on unity after a campus police officer's fatal shooting of a student, Mike Flynn, an assistant athletic director, wrote to his Kennesaw State colleague Michael DeGeorge. Flynn shared what Georgia Tech Director of Athletics Todd Stansbury wrote to student-athletes following the shooting and an ensuing clash between demonstrators and police in which a campus police car was burned. 'Quite simply, athletics unites a college campus unlike anything else,' he wrote. 'As some of the most visible members of the Georgia Tech community, we all have an opportunity and a responsibility to use our platform to lead the efforts to unite this campus,' he added. 'I urge each of us to take a positive, active role in doing so.' At Duke, a senior associate athletic director told DeGeorge officials try to 'Allow the student-athletes to understand what it is that pro athletes are doing, and why they're doing (it).' 'It is not to disrespect the country, or the President,' DeGeorge wrote in his report, under the Duke section. 'Make sure student-athletes understand the other side — how kneeling (or not standing) is perceived by military or veterans, and what their reaction would be to your action.' The Kennesaw State cheerleaders — known around campus as the Kennesaw Five — were told they'd be kept off the field in a stadium tunnel at future pregame activities after five of them knelt at a Sept. 30 game to protest racial injustice. University officials have said moving the cheerleaders before kickoff was intended to 'enhance the game-day atmosphere.' The state university system's Board of Regents is reviewing the school's handling of the situation. Now, the five cheerleaders who protested are vowing to kneel in the stadium tunnel Saturday — even though they'll be outside of public view — before the school's homecoming game. The NFL has been embroiled in controversy over players using the anthem to protest racial inequality. Although there have been some college-level protests, college teams are not typically on the field during the anthem. Kennesaw State doesn't have the name recognition of Georgia Tech, Duke and other schools it reached out to, but it's in league with them in terms of size. With 35,000 students, Kennesaw State is Georgia's third-largest university and one of the nation's 50 largest public institutions.