JSU will host Samford in first round of FCS playoffs

Jacksonville State will host Samford in the opening round of the NCAA FCS playoffs. (JSU Athletics Photo)

Jacksonville State draws it's oldest rival in the first round of the FCS playoffs.

The Gamecocks will host Samford in the 46th edition of the football rivalry, which began in 1904.

Both schools received at-large bids to the postseason. JSU is 9-3 in coach Bill Clark's first season and in the playoffs for the first time since 2010. It's the programs 14th postseason appearance.

Samford is co-champion of the Southern Conference but lost the tie-breaker to Furman, who received the league's automatic playoff spot. The Bulldogs are 8-4 and in the playoffs for the first time since 1993.

Samford needed to win it's final two game to keep it's postseason hopes alive. The Bulldogs beat Chattanooga with a field goal in overtime and scored a touchdown with seven seconds left to beat Elon.

"It's exciting," Samford coach Pat Sullivan said. "To do it the way we've done it the last two weeks, winning on the last play of the game, is special. We have a great opponent in Jacksonville State. We have to go back to work and start getting ready for a big ball game."

Samford and Jacksonville play in the first round of the FCS playoffs Saturday night. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Burgess-Snow Stadium.

The winner will travel to McNeese State on Dec. 7.

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