CHARLESTON, Ill. -- Running back Shepard Little ran for 245 yards on 26 carries, scored three touchdowns and threw for another -- all in the first quarter -- as Eastern Illinois defeated Jacksonville State 52-14 to wrap up the outright Ohio Valley Conference championship on Saturday.
The Panthers (10-1, 7-0) claimed their fifth outright title.
Jimmy Garoppolo passed New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton to become EIU's single-season passing leader, reaching 4,012 yards despite a season-low 169 against the Gamecocks (8-3, 4-3). Still, he threw for two touchdowns.
There wasn't much need for a passing game as Little led a rushing attack that rolled up 413 yards. Jimmy Lera added 111 yards on 12 carries and two touchdowns.
The game was virtually over after a school-record 35-point first quarter in which Little ran for two scores, caught a TD pass and threw to Garoppolo for another score.