MACON, Ga. — Yahsyn McKee made a pair of big plays, Carter Peevy passed for a touchdown and ran for another, and Mercer beat East Tennessee State 21-13 on Saturday night.
The Bears (5-5, 5-2 Southern Conference) beat their third straight opponent ranked in the FCS Top 25 despite getting outgained 382-219 in total offense by the No. 20 Buccaneers (4-2, 4-2).
The Bears took a 7-0 lead on Peevy’s 22-yard TD pass to Drake Starks, capping a 45-yard drive that was set up by Zach Hopkins’s fumble recovery on a muffed punt return. McKee’s 80-yard kickoff return to the ETSU 8 in the second quarter helped the Bears extend the lead to 14-3 on Peevy’s 1-yard keeper.
McKee returned an errant backward pass 63 yards for a touchdown to make it 21-6 early in the fourth quarter.
East Tennessee State closed within 21-13 after a 10-play, 80-yard drive capped by Brock Landis’ 4-yard TD pass to Will Huzzie. The Bucs got the ball back with 2:59 to go, but Danijah Gammage sacked Landis on a fourth-and-3 with 1:04 left. Landis passed for 228 yards and a touchdown.
Mercer won five conference games for the first time since joining the Southern Conference in 2014.