Days after the FCS Playoff Selection Committee named Jacksonville State the No. 1 team in the country, the Gamecocks played like anything but the team to beat.
JSU escaped Southeast Missouri State with a 17-10 win.
The Gamecocks held a 17-0 lead at halftime but failed to score a single point in the second half. The offensive woes and penalties that plagued them all season returned.
JSU earned 16 flags for 139 yards, just 11 yards shy of its rushing total.
Roc Thomas and Josh Clemons each ran the ball 14 times and totaled 52 and 46 yards respectively. But JSU’s leading rusher wasn’t a running back.
Backup quarterback Bryant Horn totaled 55 yards on just five carries. Horn played sparingly thorough the game, often spelling Eli Jenkins who battled injuries all day.
Horn also passed for 55 yards and a touchdown after completing four of his five attempts. He connected with Clemons for an 11-yard score with 1:19 remaining in the first half.
Jenkins passed for 144 yards and completed 10-of-19 passes. One of those completions was to Josh Barge who made a one-handed grab in the back of the end zone late in the first quarter.
Jenkins’ performance lifted him past Lett's (1979-82) record of 7,145 career passing yards.
Joel McCandless and Siran Neal paced the Gamecock defense with nine tackles each.
JSU (8-1, 5-0 Ohio Valley Conference) plays its final road game on Nov. 12 against Murray State. With a win and a loss by Tennesee-Martin, JSU will clinch its third-straight Ohio Valley Conference crown.
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