South Carolina State Bulldogs
Location: Orangeburg, South Carolina
Coach: Oliver “Buddy” Pough (125-71), 18th Season at South Carolina State
Stadium: Oliver C. Dawson Stadium (Capacity: 22,000)
8th: South Carolina
221st: Division I
2018 In A Sentence: A tough 1-4 start for “Buddy” Pough‘s Bulldogs gave way to a great 4-1 stretch with a home win over Howard and a big road win vs. Florida A&M. A heartbreaking 21-16 loss to North Carolina Central caused SCSU to finish under .500.
Biggest Shoes to Fill:DE Damu Ford was one of the few seniors that are graduating from this Bulldog team. He had 16 tackles for loss and 3 1/2 sacks, and the Bulldogs will miss his disruption of opposing offenses.
Key Player: It’s no coincidence that SCSU’s fortunes improved parallel to the development of QB Tyrece Nick. The Johnston, South Carolina native scored 2 TDs in the Bulldog’s first four games, and 15 TDs in their next seven. The redshirt junior should only get better this season – definitely one to watch in the MEAC.
Fearless Prediction: The young Bulldogs are an interesting MEAC wild-card this season. They seem to have a good chance to improve over their 5-6 record from last season. But can they leapfrog the bigger dogs in the conference to make a run at the Celebration Bowl?