Chandler Smith's 71-yard punt return highlights Samford's 27-17 win over UT Martin

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Jay Stanton had 193 yards rushing and a touchdown, Chandler Smith added a 26-yard touchdown grab and a 71-yard punt return for a score less than 80 seconds apart, and Samford beat UT Martin 27-17 on Saturday.

The teams combined for 27 points in the first quarter. Smith's touchdown catch capped a three-play, 52-yard drive with 1:17 left in the quarter and he ended the frame with a long punt return for a 17-10 lead.

Stanton's 61-yard touchdown was the lone score in the third quarter and Wilson Beaverstock made a 40-yard field goal for a 17-point lead early in the fourth.

Samford (6-5) won five of its last seven games.

UT Martin (8-3) was coming off a historic victory to secure the program's third consecutive conference championship with a share of the inaugural Big South-OVC Association title. The Skyhawks finished the regular season tied atop the standings with Gardner-Webb, which beat Charleston Southern 34-10 on Saturday for its fifth straight victory — including a 38-34 victory over UT Martin on Oct. 28.

Michael Hiers threw for 205 yards — with eight receptions, 86 yards and a touchdown going to Smith — for Samford.

Jamari Cannon and Kamron Smith each intercepted a Kinkead Dent pass.

Dent finished 23 of 38 for 261 yards with one touchdown. Sam Franklin carried it 25 times for 160 yards and a touchdown for UT Martin (8-3).

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