South Carolina moves up FCS

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ORANGEBURG, SC – South Carolina State, which clinched its second straight Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference title and a return trip to the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) playoffs Saturday with a 37-13 win over Morgan State, has climbed to 7th

ORANGEBURG, SC – South Carolina State, which clinched its second straight Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference title and a return trip to the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) playoffs Saturday with a 37-13 win over Morgan State, has climbed to 7th in all three FCS polls.

The Bulldogs, 9-1 overall and 7-0 in the MEAC, also hold down the No. 1 spot in the SBN Top 10 poll and three other polls that rank HBCUs.

The No. 7 ranking by the Bulldogs, who were ninth a week ago, matches the highest position an SC State team has achieved in Division I-AA or FCS. The polls Coach Buddy Pough’s team holds the No. 7 ranking are The Sports Network, FCS Coaches and Any Given Saturday.

South Carolina State’s Oliver “Tre” Young was selected as the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Offensive Player of the Week, the conference announced on Monday. Young (WR, 6-1, 190, Sr., Charleston, SC) became South Carolina State’s all-time receptions leader after catching six passes for 166 yards with two touchdowns in the Bulldogs 37-13 win over Morgan State, breaking the SC State Career Reception Record held by Tavarus Morgan. He also racked up 313 all-purpose yards, including four punt returns for 104 yards, and one kickoff return for 39 yards as helped the Bulldogs clinch their second straight MEAC title.

Junior quarterback Malcolm Long connected for 21-32 for 319 yards and four touchdowns and became the school’s first 2,000-yard passer with his performance on the day.

“I am very excited about winning the game and even more about winning another MEAC Title,” said SC State coach Buddy Pough. “I am very impressed with Tre’ Young’s play today.”

The Bulldogs jumped out to a 27-7 lead in the first-half. Ford scored the first touchdown of the game on a 19-yard toss from Long with 9:04 left in the first quarter. Long put the Bulldogs ahead 14-0 on a 45-yard bomb to Oliver Tre’ Young. Morgan State scored to pull within seven on a 7-yard punch from quarterback Carlton Jackson with to close out the first quarter.

Sophomore kicker Blake Erickson scored six of the Bulldogs 13 points in the second quarter with field goals of 24 and 29. SC State closed the half with a 27-7 lead.

Pough stated, “We didn’t play as effectively as I would have liked us to be, but overall we were able to get the job done throwing some deep balls.”

Long’s 12-yard connection with Young in the third quarter open up the lead and the Bulldogs took a 34-7 advantage and sealed the victory for Coach Pough’s team. All-MEAC running back Will Ford finished the day with 20 rushes for 107 yards. Ford is just 155 yards why of becoming the MEAC All-Time leading rusher.

“Our goal is to get into the playoffs and make some noise”, said Pough. “It would be really nice for our fans and community if we could host a playoff game.”

SC State closes out the regular season Saturday against MEAC foe and longtime rival North Carolina A&T. Kickoff is set for 1:30 p.m. at Oliver C. Dawson Stadium as SC State celebrates “Senior Day” and “Community Day.” Twentyone (21) Bulldog senior players and one student trainer will be recognized in a special pre-game ceremony.

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