JACKSONVILLE, Ala. (AP)Keon Howard threw for touchdowns on three consecutive second-half drives and then clinched the game with a late first-down run as Tennessee Martin ran out the clock to beat Jacksonville State 34-31 on Saturday.
After Zerrick Cooper threw his second touchdown pass to put the Gamecocks, ranked No. 9 in the FCS coaches poll, ahead 24-13 late in the third quarter, the Skyhawks roared back.
Colton Dowell’s 14-yard reception capped a 75-yard drive; Zoe Roberts had a 4-yard catch to end an 82-yard drive and ended a three-play, 65-yard drive with a 54-yarder for a 34-24 lead with 6:56 to play.
Jacksonville State (2-2), which won at Florida State in Week 2, quickly answered with Cooper’s 2-yard run with 5:34 to go but didn’t touch the ball again as eight rushes put the Skyhawks (3-1) in position to kneel down three times for the win.
Tennessee Martin, which last won a road game in this long rivalry in 1987, had 426 yards, 254 in the second half.
Howard was 19 of 24 for 255 yards. Dowell and Roberts combined for 10 catches for 157 yards and Peyton Logan and Zak Wallace combined for 130 yards on the ground.
Cooper passed for 318 yards and led the Gamecocks with 37 on the ground.
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