JACKSONVILLE, AL (WAFF) - Jacksonville State took care of business against winless Austin Peay, and now can turn its attention to the most important game of the 2015 season.
The number 1 ranked Gamecocks (6-1, 4-0 in Ohio Valley Conference) ruined Austin Peay's homecoming Saturday afternoon, pounding the Governors 27-7 for their fifth straight win and 13 in a row against OVC opponents.
Jacksonville State established a school record for fewest total yards allowed (82) and limited Austin Peay to seven first downs.
The victory sets up a highly-anticipated matchup at Burgess-Snow Field against No. 13 Eastern Kentucky (5-2, 4-0), which beat Tennessee State 45-21 on Saturday. The game will be televised on ESPN3 as the OVC Game of the Week.
"It's going to be a whale of a football game," said Jacksonville State head coach John Grass. "It ought to be a great environment and we're looking forward to having a packed house."
The Gamecocks dominated every phase against the Governors. Jacksonville State built a 27-0 lead at halftime, rolling up 311 yards and limiting Austin Peay (0-8, 0-5) to -2 yards during the first 30 minutes.
Jacksonville State finished with 427 total yards, extending its school-record streak of games with at least 400 yards to 18.
Eli Jenkins' streak of consecutive games with at least one touchdown pass ended at nine. The junior from Birmingham did not play in the second half after completing 18-of-26 passes for 189 yards. His 214 total yards in the first half moved him over the 6,000-yard milestone.
Jenkins, Troymaine Pope and Miles Jones each ran for a first-half touchdown, and kicker Connor Rouleau bounced back from a shaky performance against Tennessee Tech last week with field goals from 30 and 28 yards.
Jenkins threw on the Gamecocks' first five offensive plays as JSU drove quickly into Austin Peay territory. Pope wrapped up the nine-play, 64-yard drive by running in from the Govs 10 with 10:51 left in the first quarter. Rouleau's PAT gave Jacksonville State a 7-0 lead it never relinquished.
Rouleau's 30-yard field goal made it 10-0 with 4:27 to go in the first.
The Gamecocks scored on their third straight possession early in the second quarter to extend the lead to 17-0. Josh Clemons got JSU into the red zone with a punishing 21-yard run to APSU's 1, and Jones ran it in on the next play with 12:04 left in the second quarter.
Rouleau's second field goal, from 28 yards, and Jenkins' 1-yard touchdown run sent the Gamecocks to the locker room at intermission with a comfortable 27-0 lead.
"We played really well in the first half," Grass said. "Overall, it was a good night."
Josh Barge and Anthony Johnson led JSU with six receptions apiece.
Kickoff for the Eastern Kentucky game is set for 1 p.m.
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