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Georgia Southern 31, Samford 17

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Robert Brown rushed for 140 yards and a touchdown, and Laron Scott returned a kickoff 99 yards for a score to help Georgia Southern pull away in the second half to beat Samford 31-17 on Saturday night.

Jerick McKinnon finished with 80 yards rushing on 12 carries for the Eagles. He scored on a 2-yard run in the second quarter and an 18-yard TD run in the fourth.

Brown, who finished with 20 carries, broke a 7-7 tie in the third quarter when he scored on an 8-yard run. After a field goal by Samford, Scott gave Georgia Southern a 21-10 lead on his kick return.

In the season opener for both teams, the Eagles totaled 263 yards rushing and held Samford to 61 yards on the ground.

Dustin Taliaferro completed 24 of 39 passes for 277 yards and a touchdown, but also had two interceptions for the Bulldogs.