With the starting quarterback injured, backup Mark Washington came off the JSU bench and lead a wild fourth-quarter.
TSU stayed right with them but fell a little short.
Washington threw touchdown passes of 11 yards to Daniel Guy, a former Fairley High player, and 34 yards to Corey Bradford to build an 11-point lead.
With a little over five minutes left, however, TSU drove 90 yards for a touchdown and then hit the two-point conversion. TSU had one final possession a couple of minutes later, but a JSU interception ended the comeback and the game.
It was a night of big plays, including kickoff returns of 66, 64 and 50 yards by TSU. In fact, TSU lead at halftime, 20 to 17.
The teams played a scoreless third quarter, setting up that wild last period when both teams turned it up as the crowd of 61,171 cheered them on.