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Jacksonville St. 24, UT-Martin 23

JACKSONVILLE, Ala. -- Jacksonville State rallied for a 24-23 victory over Tennessee-Martin Thursday night in the season opener for both teams.

Gamecocks running back Calvin Middleton capped the comeback with a 4-yard touchdown run with only 33 seconds left.

With Jacksonville State trailing by 10 points at halftime, backup quarterback Coty Blanchard replaced starter Marques Ivory in the third quarter to ignite the Gamecocks' offense.

Blanchard, also the Gamecocks' starting punter, threw for 133 yards on 9 of 17 attempts, including a 43-yard strike to halfback Washuan Ealey that cut the deficit to six points.

Blanchard also added 41 yards on the ground, 28 of which came on the Gamecocks' final drive to set up the winning score.

Tennessee-Martin quarterback Derek Carr was 23 of 36 for 325 yards and one touchdown in the losing effort.

The Gamecocks defense stiffened in the second half, allowing only six points.