Monday, August 31, 2009

SC State Conducts Final "Dress Rehearsal"

SC State Conducts Final "Dress Rehearsal"
Bulldog Opener 8 days Away

Football Update
ORANGEBURG, SC – South Carolina State, Saturday, had its final “dress rehearsal” in preparing for its Sept. 6 season opener against Grambling in the ESPN MEAC/SWAC Challenge at The Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Fla.
In a 2 p.m. scrimmage in shorts and helmets, the Bulldogs went through a game-day routine and also conducted all kinds of situation drills, according to head coach Buddy Pough.
“We tried to simulate every possible game scenario,” Pough said after the scrimmage, “However, there is always, maybe, something that you should have done.
“But the key to being a good football team is getting better each day, and also have a desire to get better. I see that in this football team, although we know we have a lot of work to do.”
Pough, who will be facing Grambling for the first time as a head coach, had nothing but praise for the Tigers and Coach Rod Broadway, whose team edged the Bulldogs for the 2008 Sheridan Broadcasting Network (SBN) national Black championship and is ranked number one, just ahead of SC State, in the SBN 2009 preseason rankings. SC State, however, tops the Tigers in both FCS preseason polls.
“Grambling is a very good football team,” Pough noted. “They are outstanding on defense and led the nation in turnovers forced last year. So, it’s very important that we have an understanding of what they are doing on defense.
“We have been stressing ball protection because they are great in forcing turnovers and turnovers are a very big part of the game. It’s equally important that our defense is up to speed on their offensive schemes.”
SC State will be looking for its first season-opening victory in four years. The Bulldogs’ last victory in a season opener came in 2005, ironically, in the inaugural MEAC/SWAC Challenge, 27-14, against Alabama State at Birmingham.
Pough’s team has lost its last three season openers – 17-0 to Central Florida last season, 34-3 to Air Force in 2007, and 28-21 to Wofford in 2006.
“We have not gotten off to a fast start in recent years,” Pough said. “Maybe this will be the year we do so.”
SC State will continue a tradition Sunday by attending service at various area churches, then conduct a light practice at 5 p.m. The Bulldogs will take Monday off before returning to the field Tuesday afternoon.

1. Coach Pough will hold a 9 a.m. weekly news conference each Monday during the season, beginning Monday, Aug. 31, at the conference room of Rowe Hall, the Athletic Complex. Reporters are invited to attend. Players will also be available at that time, depending on their class schedule. Call the sports information office (803-536-7060) or SID Bill Hamilton’s cell (803-378-6165) to request players.

2. The MEAC conducts a weekly Teleconference each Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. The first session will be Tuesday, Sept.1. SC State’s Buddy Pough is on at 10:43. Call the Sports Information Office for the dial-up number.


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