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.
No. 2 Georgia looks to prove to the nation they are legit as they take on four straight raked opponents.
Ryan Agnew threw a 29-yard touchdown pass to tight end Parker Houston with 6:10 to go and San Diego State beat Air Force 21-17 Friday night in a game delayed 1 hour, 7 minutes by lightning.
Tyler Huntley threw for two touchdowns, ran for another and caught a 58-yard TD pass, leading Utah past Arizona 42-10 on Friday night.
San Diego State's 29-yard touchdown catch gives them a 21-17 lead against Air Force.
Down 24-10 in the 4th quarter, Blake Barnett runs in two TDs and fuels South Florida to a winning field goal, avoiding an upset.
Utah takes a 42-10 lead against Arizona after a 28-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.