MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The 12th-ranked Chattanooga Mocs dropped a 27-13 decision at the hands of No. 5 Jacksonville State in the Cramton Bowl on Saturday. The game was started of college football season in what was dubbed the Guardian Credit Union FCS Kickoff.
Nick Tiano, making his first start for his hometown team after transferring this spring from Mississippi State, accumulated 286 yards of total offense to lead his side of the ball. Lucas Webb and Kareem Orr each had an interception, pacing the defense.
It was a see-saw game through the opening 41 minutes. JSU had a 13-6 lead when Jonathan Hagler snagged a Tiano offering and returning it 52 yards for the score and a two-touchdown advantage.
Big plays spurred the win for the Gamecocks. Along with the pick-6, Roc Thomas rambled 76 yards for a first-quarter touchdown, while Shaq Davidson made the final tally for his squad with a 59-yard TD catch from Bryant Horn.
A late 4-yard strike from Tiano to Joseph Parker capped an eight-play, 89-yard scoring drive that took less than two minutes. The ensuing onside kick sealed UTC’s fate as the Gamecocks recovered and ran enough clock to limit the Mocs’ chances.
Parker led all receivers with six catches for 56 yards. Richardre Bagley added another five for 55. Tavon Lawson made a game-high 14 stops transitioning from safety to linebacker.
Thomas was the Gamecocks’ MVP on this night. He ran 19 times for 122 yards and caught three passes for 68 more. Horn threw for 182 yards, completing 14 of 20 passes with two interceptions and the touchdown. He also gained 31 yards on the ground in seven attempts.
The Mocs have the week off before heading to LSU on Sept. 9. The contest in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, is a 7:30 p.m. Eastern time kickoff on SEC Network Alternate.