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Stan Becton | | November 18, 2022

5 memorable Jacksonville State football moments in the FCS

FCS Playoffs: Jacksonville State tops Sam Houston State

Jacksonville State will play the final game of its FCS tenure on Saturday, Nov. 19. Before the Gamecocks depart the subdivision, here are some memorable moments from their time in the FCS.

2010 — A 2OT FBS upset

JSU-Ole Miss

Jacksonville State entered SEC country and came away victorious, knocking off Ole Miss in double-overtime. The Gamecocks trailed 31-10 at halftime before rallying to tie the game at 34-34 with 18 seconds to play. 

After trading touchdowns in the first overtime, Jacksonville State traded touchdowns again in the second overtime. However, the Gamecocks chose to go for a two-point conversion and win the game instead of kicking an extra point to force a third overtime.

Quarterback Coty Blanchard threw a shovel pass to running back Calvin Middleton over two defenders, and the rest is history.

HISTORY: A complete history of every FCS win vs. FBS teams

2013 — A rivalry renewed


One of Jacksonville State's biggest rivals is Samford, with the schools less than 100 miles apart in Alabama. After conference switches over the years, the Jacksonville State-Samford rivalry had not been played for six years entering 2013. That all changed when the schools met in the first round of the FCS playoffs.

Jacksonville State opened the game against its rival fast, scoring on six of its first seven possessions to lead 38-0 at halftime. The final score remained a rout, with the Gamecocks winning 55-14. Jacksonville State extended its win streak over Samford to nine games, grabbing a two-game lead in the all-time series. The win also gave the Gamecocks their first playoff win since moving up from Division II.

WINS: 9 winningest FCS teams in college football history

2015 — An overtime thriller


In the second round of the FCS playoffs, Jacksonville State and Chattanooga entered overtime tied at 35. The game was back and forth leading up to the extra period, with five ties or lead changes. However, the overtime was all Gamecocks.

Chattanooga received the ball first in overtime. Three plays into Chattanooga's possession, Jacksonville State safety Brandon Bender nabbed an interception in the endzone. All the Gamecocks needed to do was kick a field goal to win the game. Yet, quarterback Eli Jenkins had different plans, as he only needed two runs to find the end zone to win the game.

You can rewatch the classic game here.

ABSURD SCORES: The highest scoring college football games across FBS, FCS, DII and DIII

2015 — Off to the championship


Before 2015, Jacksonville State had never made it out of the FCS quarterfinals. After winning a quarterfinal game over Charleston Southern, the Gamecocks faced Sam Houston in the FCS semifinals with a chance for their first-ever championship appearance.

Jacksonville State blasted Sam Houston in the semifinals 62-10 to advance to the championship game. While a first FCS title eluded the Gamecocks, a championship berth marked a new height for the program.

FCS Playoffs: Jacksonville State tops Sam Houston State

CHAMPIONSHIPS: Schools with the most FCS national championships

2021 — The Hail Mary upset


In 2021, the Gamecocks went south to play FBS opponent Florida State. Jacksonville State kept the game close, trailing by just three points on its final possession. Then came the Hail Mary that sent shockwaves across the football world. Watch the play below:

It's a pass that will be remembered in Jacksonville State history. Click or tap here for more on the upset.

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Jacksonville State knocks off No. 3 Ole Miss

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