The Bulldogs (3-3, 3-1 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference), who trailed 24-21 at halftime, built a 35-24 lead early in the third quarter, but the Eagles (1-4, 0-2) regained the lead, 38-35, with 10:49 to play.
A 53-yard drive consisting of six rushing plays then put South Carolina State ahead to stay, with quarterback Richard Cue scoring from 2 yards out.
Johnson completed 29 of 47 passes for 315 yards and two touchdowns for the Eagles and was intercepted once.
MURRAY STATE 48, GEORGIA STATE 24
In Atlanta, Casey Brockman threw four touchdown passes, two to Walter Powell, and also ran for a score to lead Murray State to a victory over Georgia State.
Brockman completed 35 of 46 passes for 321 yards as the Racers improved to 3-3. Duane Brady caught a 46-yard touchdown pass and also scored on an 8-yard run. Powell’s TD catches were for 1 and 36 yards.
Donald Russell scored on runs of 4 and 9 yards for Georgia State, which lost its fourth in a row after an opening win.
WOFFORD 43, THE CITADEL 14
In Charleston, S.C., with a dominant ground game and one long punt return, Wofford remained undefeated in Southern Conference play with a road rout of The Citadel.
The Terriers (4-1, 3-0) scored twice in each of the first two quarters to take a 28-0 halftime lead over the Bulldogs (2-3, 1-3).
COASTAL CAROLINA 34, VIRGINIA MILITARY INSTITUTE 10
In Conway, S.C., Coastal Carolina quarterback Aramis Hillary, a former Strom Thurmond star, rolled up 359 yards of total offense to lead the Chanticleers over Virginia Military Institute.
SAMFORD 26, FURMAN 21
In Greenville, S.C., Dustin Taliaferro threw three touchdown passes in Samford’s victory over Furman.
ELON 38, WESTERN CAROLINA 31
In Cullowhee, N.C., Elon had four rushing touchdowns Saturday, but it was a late 1-yard pass from Thomas Wilson to Aaron Mellette that gave the Phoenix a thrilling win over Western Carolina.
MORGAN STATE 44, SAVANNAH STATE 17
In Baltimore, Md., Seth Higgins threw for four TDs to lead Morgan State past Savannah State.