MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — Behind a strong defensive effort that kept Chattanooga out of the end zone until 1:30 left in the game, Jacksonville State started their 2017 campaign with a solid statement, beating the Mocs 27-13 in the FCS Kickoff Game in Montgomery Saturday.

The defensive effort for JSU was capped off by a Jonathan Hagler pick-six in the 3rd quarter to extend the Gamecocks’ lead to 20-6. Hagler jumped the route of a Mocs receiver and raced 52 yards for the TD.

On offense, JSU was breaking in a new quarterback in Bryant Horn. He finished the night 14-20 for 182 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. The Gamecocks leaned on Auburn transfer Roc Thomas for most of the game. Thomas finished the night with 19 carries for 122 yards and a TD. He also caught three passes for 68 yards.

The Gamecocks will take a week off before heading to Atlanta to take on Georgia Tech.

Check out the video below to hear what Coach John Grass had to say after his team’s victory.