CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. -- Nick Tiano threw for 278 yards and a pair of touchdowns and ran for a third as Chattanooga held off preseason favorite Samford, 27-20 in the Southern Conference opener on Saturday night.
The Mocs never trailed in the game, but neither could they shake the persistent Bulldogs.
Tiano hit Bryce Nunnally with a 55-yard touchdown pass minutes into the game to put Chattanooga (4-0, 1-0) in front for good, and after he hit Tyrell Price with an 18-yard strike to start the second quarter, the Mocs held a 17-0 advantage.
DeMarcus Ware scored from the 1 and Mitchell Fineran kicked field goals from 22- and 36-yards out to cut the lead to four, 17-13, but Tiano scored from five-yards out in the third quarter and Victor Ulmo converted a 30-yard field goal to start the fourth to push the lead to 27-13.
Devlin Hodge hit Chris Shelling with a 17-yard touchdown with 6:43 left to get Samford (1-3, 0-1) within a touchdown, but on fourth-and-three at the Chattanooga 38 Hodge was picked off by Kareem Orr to preserve the win.
Scott's 3 TD passes helps Nicholls beat Northwestern State
— Lindsey Scott Jr. threw two of his three touchdown passes to Dai'Jean Dixon, Julien Gums had 36 carries for 156 yards and a score, and Nicholls beat Northwestern State 31-24 on Saturday night.
Travis Etienne bringing his big-play ability to the NFL
Check out the highlights that make Clemson's Travis Etienne a coveted RB prospect ahead of the 2021 NFL draft.
Rodrigues throws 3 TDs, leads UC Davis over Idaho 27-17
— Hunter Rodrigues threw three touchdown passes and UC Davis beat Idaho 27-17 on Saturday.
Furman rallies from 17 down, beats Samford 44-37 in OT
— Ryan Miller scored the tying touchdown with 2:53 left in the fourth quarter, and Furman rallied from a 17-point deficit to beat Samford 44-37 in overtime on Saturday.
Deion Sanders celebrates after Jackson State ices win with fumble recovery
Jackson State recovers a fumble right at their own goal line to win and head coach Deion Sanders is pumped up.
Deion Sanders runs with his receiver Baldwin on 64-yard touchdown
Jackson State's Daylen Baldwin breaks free for the 64-yard touchdown and his head coach Deion Sanders runs with him down the sidelines.