Saturday’s victory was the 14th by the FCS over the FBS this season. The old record was 13 set in 2000.
The Gamecocks, meanwhile, improved to 5-16 against FBS teams. Their last win was that 2010 double-overtime thriller over Ole Miss.
No safe place
JSU tight ends coach/recruiting coordinator Jody Wright will be sporting a cast on his right wrist for the next couple weeks courtesy of Gamecocks punter Hamish MacInnes in pregame warm-ups last week.
Wright was talking with a bunch of recruits in the end zone while MacInnes was going through his routine before the Gamecocks’ double overtime win over North Alabama. Tight end Luke Smith was standing nearby with his back to the action and and Markis Merrill backpedaling to field the punt.
Wright nudged Smith out of the way to keep Merrill from running into him and MacInnes’ punt hit him square between the thumb and forefinger.
Ever committed, Wright played through the pain. He continued talking to recruits and spent the game with his hand on ice.
“When I went to the emergency room the doctor said he didn’t think that could break your hand,” Wright said. “I said, ‘You don’t know our punter.’
“I told Hamish when he makes it to the NFL that can be his story: He kicks the ball so hard it can break a hand.”
Eagle’s Landing Christian quarterback Dalton Etheridge went to social media earlier this week to tweet he has committed to the Gamecocks. The 6-foot-0, 190-pound dual-threat senior had been picking up interest since the summer.
Etheridge’s coach, Jonathan Gess, told the Henry (Ga.) Daily Herald it came down to “the fact (JSU) … was the only quarterback they offered” — back in July — and wouldn’t go after another quarterback until he made up his mind.
The Gamecocks have a commitment from Louisville, Miss., quarterback Wyatt Roberts.
They also have commitments from Mobile Christian center Jordan Cagle, Sweetwater athlete Jakoby Aldridge and Walker linebacker Austin Mansell.
She said yes.
The Jacksonville State football family had double reason to celebrate Saturday at the Georgia Dome.
Not only did the Gamecocks pick up their fourth win of the season in overtime, but shortly after the game, outside linebackers coach and special teams coordinator Daric Riley got down in the victory formation and asked fiancée Kathy Kuneyl for her hand in marriage. She gladly accepted.
“She said yes, what else is there to say,” Riley said.
Everybody was in on it. The players ran out of the locker room and gathered with the coaches and supporters to witness the happy moment.
“We’ve been talking about that for months and months,” JSU coach Bill Clark said. “We talk a lot about family. It’s a big deal to us. I want these guys to feel like this is part of their family.
“The coaches were in on it. The wives were in on it. I’m glad we did it on a happy occasion, a double happy occasion. I’m glad she said yes.”
The Gamecocks open Ohio Valley Conference play against Murray State 3 p.m. Saturday at JSU Stadium.
The Racers come to town with an Ole Miss transfer at quarterback (Maikhail Miller) and one of the country’s most dynamic athletes in receiver/return specialist Walter Powell.
The Gamecocks are expecting to have senior offensive lineman Taylor Johnstone back for the game. Johnstone was ruled ineligible for the first four games after being advised incorrectly and failing to secure enough hours toward a degree.
“I’m ready,” Johnstone said. “I’ve been chomping at the bit. These past four weeks have been the longest in my life.”