CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. -- Jerrell Lawson returned an interception 26 yards for a touchdown to ignite a big third quarter and Chattanooga rolled to a 34-10 victory over Tennessee Tech in a season opener for both teams Thursday night.
Lawson picked off Bailey Fisher on the Golden Eagles' first possession of the second half and turned a six-point halftime lead into a 20-7 advantage. Tyrell Price raced 40 yards for a score and a 27-7 lead on Chattanooga's next possession. Nick Madonia's 37-yard field pulled Tennessee Tech within 27-10, but Nick Tiano, who beat out fellow junior Chris James for the starting quarterback job, hooked up with Wil Young for a 63-yard score and the Mocs led 34-10 after three quarters.
Tiano finished with 318 yards and two TDs on 21-of-32 passing. Bryce Nunnelly caught seven passes for 161 yards, including an 89-yard TD in the second quarter.
Lightning and rain forced a 2-hour, 44-minute delay at the 10:49 mark of the fourth quarter.
Chattanooga has won four in a row against the Golden Eagles and leads the all-time series 30-10. The Mocs are 7-1 against Tennessee Tech in season openers.
It figures to be an emotional game when No. 21 Miami hosts Florida International on Saturday, but one hopes it doesn't reach the fervor of the first meeting between the two neighboring programs 12 years ago.
Auburn may have taken a gut-punch when LSU drilled a field goal as time ran out for a 22-21 victory last week, but at least coach Gus Malzahn's crew doesn't have to live down an embarrassing YouTube clip like Arkansas, this week's opponent.
A perceived difference of styles will be on display on Saturday when No. 12 West Virginia travels to always-tough Kansas State for the two teams' Big 12 Conference-opening clash at Milan Puskar Stadium om Morgantown, W.Va.
Arizona State knocked Washington out of contention for the College Football Playoff last season, winning 13-7 in mid-October.
Georgia Tech is paying homage to the 1990 NCAA Championship team Saturday by wearing the navy-blue jerseys that team sported during its title run. Chances are it will take more than that to keep the Yellow Jackets close against No. 3 Clemson on...
Notre Dame has been solid if not overwhelming in three home games, and now the eighth-ranked Fighting Irish take their first road venture.
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