COOKEVILLE, TN (WAFF) - Things went south for Tennessee Tech from the opening kickoff against No. 1 Jacksonville State Saturday night.
Junior quarterback Eli Jenkins threw two touchdown passes and ran for another score as the Gamecocks (5-1, 3-0 Ohio Valley Conference) reeled off their fourth straight win, thumping Tennessee Tech 42-13 at Tucker Stadium.
The win marked Jacksonville State 12th straight victory against OVC opponents.
The Golden Eagles fumbled the opening kickoff out of bounds at their 7, an indicator of things to come.
Jacksonville State's defense forced a three-and-out and the offense wasted little time finding the end zone, driving 61 yards in 10 plays. Jenkins finished the drive with a 4-yard TD pass to Dalton Screws to start the rout.
Tennessee Tech (2-5, 1-3) was held to a pair of John Arnold field goals and a rushing TD with just over a minute left in the game, its lowest point total of the season.
Jacksonville State piled up 619 yards, the sixth-highest total in school history.
Jenkins was 18-of-27 passing for 184 yards and two touchdowns, the 4-yarder to Screws and 30 yards to Troymaine Pope in the second quarter, compiling a passer rating of 148.4. He has now thrown at least one touchdown pass in nine straight games and 15 of his last 16.
Jenkins also contributed to the scoring with a 40-yard run in the first quarter, finishing with 89 yards on 13 carries.
"Eli looked sharp," said Jacksonville State head coach John Grass. "He really ran the offense good coming off of the off week."
Arnold's 43-yard field goal with 5:07 left in the first quarter drew TTU to within 7-3. But after an exchange of punts, Jenkins burst free on his 40-yard touchdown run to extend JSU's lead to 14-3 with 1:12 to go in the first.
Josh Clemons' 3-yard run capped a 12-play, 72-yard drive as the Gamecocks pushed their lead to 20-6 midway through the second quarter. Pope's nifty catch-and-run for 30 yards with 1:27 left gave JSU a 26-6 lead at halftime.
Miles Jones raced 45 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter and Connor Rouleau added the extra point for a 33-6 lead. True freshman Monty Young of Saks tackled Golden Eagles quarterback Colby Brown for a safety with 24 seconds remaining in the third quarter to make it 35-6.
Jacksonville State's final points came in the waning moments when JoJo Wynn ran 65 yards for a touchdown on his third career carry. Cade Stinnett's extra point made the final 42-13.
Brandon Bender led the Gamecocks with seven tackles, including three solo stops.
The Gamecocks return to the state of Tennessee again next week with a visit to Austin Peay. Kickoff at Governors Stadium is at 4 p.m.
Jacksonville State returns to Burgess-Snow Field on Oct. 31 to face Eastern Kentucky.
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