Advertisement
  1. Sports
  2. /
  3. USF Bulls

USF football: Five things to know about South Carolina State

The Bulldogs upset a ranked Football Championship Subdivision foe in their season opener
South Carolina State's Buddy Pough needs only two more victories to become his alma mater's all-time winningest coach. [RICHARD SHIRO | AP]
Published Sep. 10

A quick look at South Carolina State (2-0), which plays at USF (0-2) on Saturday at Raymond James Stadium:

1. Upset alert?

Are the Bulldogs capable of coming into Raymond James Stadium and handing USF its ninth consecutive loss? You bet your McNeese State memories. The way the Bulls have been playing, no game is a gimme.

South Carolina State, which returns 16 starters from a 5-6 team, upset Wofford (then ranked eighth in the Football Championship Subdivision coaches poll), 28-13 in its season opener. The Bulldogs have allowed one touchdown in eight quarters, and have scored on all nine trips inside the red zone this season (including seven touchdowns).

Their greatest disadvantage Saturday ― like most small schools that venture to a Division I stadium for a nice paycheck ― will manifest itself on the line of scrimmage. SCSU’s projected starting offensive front weighs an average of 287 pounds; its defensive front 274.

2. Nick is nimble

UCF defensive lineman Joey Connors (91) deflects the ball on a pass thrown by South Carolina State quarterback Tyrece Nick (3) as defensive back Kyle Gibson (25) watches during a game last season. [PHELAN M. EBENHACK | AP]

Opening day starting quarterback Tyrece Nick, not terribly efficient against Wofford (12-for-26, 201 yards, one TD, one INT), was among a handful of veterans held out of Saturday’s 34-0 romp of Lane College so younger players could get their sea legs.

Nick ran for 40 yards on only 10 carries against Wofford, so his mobility could cause problems. Arguably his most dangerous target is 6-foot-5 redshirt freshman Shaq Davis (eight catches, 158 yards). Senior De’Montrez Burroughs, another rangy wideout (6-2, 218), has six catches for 133 yards and a TD.

3. Scoreless at Spectrum

If the Bulldogs come into RayJay and give the Bulls fits Saturday, USF fans are sure to hear cackling all the way from Orlando. UCF owns a pair of recent 38-0 victories against SCSU (2016, ’18).

4. Lou’s lieutenants square off

South Carolina State coach Buddy Pough speaks with Ahmaad Harris after Harris fumbled in the end zone against Clemson in a 2016 game. [RICHARD SHIRO | AP]

Bulldogs coach Buddy Pough, in his 18th season at his alma mater, worked three seasons (1999-2001) with Charlie Strong on Lou Holtz’s staff at South Carolina. He enters with a 127-71 record as Bulldogs coach, and needs only two more victories to achieve the program record. His teams have won two outright MEAC titles, have shared four others, and have reached the I-AA playoffs four times.

5. SCSU produces pros

Former New York Giants player Harry Carson listens during a halftime ceremony of an NFL football game between the New York Giants and the New Orleans Saints on Sept. 18, 2016. [KATHY WILLENS | AP]

SCSU, a historically black college, has produced more than three-dozen NFL players and three Pro Football Hall of Famers: Harry Carson, Deacon Jones and Marion Motley.

Contact Joey Knight at jknight@tampabay.com. Follow @TBTimes_Bulls.

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. USF quarterback Jordan McCloud (12) runs against Georgia Tech during the second half of a Sept. 7 game. JON BARASH  |  AP
    Additionally, quarterback Jordan McCloud makes the AAC weekly honor roll.
  2. USF redshirt freshman Jordan McCloud warms up before Saturday night's game against South Carolina State. McCloud totaled five touchdowns in the Bulls' 55-16 triumph. SCOTT PURKS | Special to the Times] SCOTT PURKS  |  Special to the Times
    The redshirt freshman’s five total touchdowns were the most by a Bulls first-time starter
  3. USF rejoices after defensive end Kirk Livingstone, getting hugged, recovers a first-half fumble against South Carolina State. SCOTT PURKS  |  Special to the Times
    Journal: The Bulls force a single-game record eight turnovers against South Carolina State.
  4. Relentless pressure caused this first-half fumble; No. 20 Bentlee Sanders knocking it free with No. 4 Greg Reaves ready to pounce. USF recovered, then scored a touchdown just a few plays later against visiting South Carolina State. SCOTT PURKS  |  Special to the Times
    At least one unit still has some serious shortcomings entering conference play.
  5. Not perfect, but not too bad for USF quarterback Jordan McCloud in his first college start. SCOTT PURKS  |  Special to the Times
    The redshirt freshman quarterback totals five touchdowns in his starting debut as the Bulls beat South Carolina State 55-16.
  6. UCF defensive back Aaron Robinson runs after intercepting a pass against Stanford during the first half of Saturday's 45-27 Knights win. JOHN RAOUX  |  AP
    Fennelly: Like last year and the year before, Saturday’s big win (this one over Stanford) isn’t music to every ear.
  7. UCF quarterback Dillon Gabriel throws a pass against Stanford during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday in Orlando. JOHN RAOUX  |  AP
    The true freshman quarterback throws four touchdowns in a 45-27 victory over the Pac-12 Cardinal.
  8. Warming up before the game Saturday night, USF redshirt freshman Jordan McCloud, a Plant High alum, got his first start as a college quarterback. SCOTT PURKS  |  Special to the Times
    The former Panther gets the nod over Blake Barnett against South Carolina State.
  9. UCF quarterback Brandon Wimbush runs the ball against Florida A&M on  Aug. 29, 2019 in Orlando. GARY MCCULLOUGH  |  AP
    But who will start at quarterback Saturday for the No. 17 Knights?
  10. USF, Florida, FSU and more games on the air.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement