Sunday, July 23, 2017

S.C. STATE FOOTBALL: Pough likes stable of runners

ORANGEBURG, South Carolina -- Historically, South Carolina State has been the most dominant running team in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. Bulldog runners have been among the league’s top rushers since the inception of the league.

And, until last season, the MEAC career rushing leader was a Bulldog – William “Will” Ford, who amassed 4,672 yards during his career (2006-2009). North Carolina A&T’s Tarik Cohen surpassed Ford’s mark in 2016.

S.C. State's Ford, second; Michael Hicks (1993-1995), fourth; and David “DeShawn” Baker (2003-2006), sixth, rank among the MEAC’s top-10 rushing leaders. This dynamic Bulldog trio combined for nine 1,000-plus-yard rushing seasons and went over the 100-yard single-game rushing mark a combined 22 times.

However, 1,000-yard rushing seasons and 100-yard games have been a rarity since the departure of Hicks, Baker and Ford. The last back to reach the 1,000-yard rushing plateau in a season was Jalen “Scoot” Simmons – now with the Carolina Panthers – who achieved the feat in 2014. And the last back to go over the 100-yard rushing mark in single game was Bishop Ford last season.

Reaching such rushing milestones is certainly noteworthy, but you don’t have to have a 1,000-yard rusher to be effective on offense anymore. Strategies have evolved and the “throw” game has come into play, according to Bulldog head coach Buddy Pough, who is pleased at the stable of running backs S.C. State will have in 2017.


No comments: