South Carolina State will travel to the nation’s capital on Saturday afternoon as they take on Howard in a MEAC tilt.
SCSU enters the contest with a 2-5 record after a 30-19 victory over winless Delaware State on Saturday in Orangeburg. The Bulldogs ran for 268 yards and three scores in the victory. Howard traveled to Morgan State and came away with a 35-26 victory under the lights despite a slow start offensively.
Howard has improved to 3-3 on the season after picking up victories in their last two contests over Morgan and Delaware State. The offense continues to score points, averaging just over 35 per contest this season. The Bison are putting up yards at a ridiculous clip as well, gaining over 500 yards per game, a number that dropped after a “down” performance of 474 yards versus the Bears. The offense starts with the familiar name of Caylin Newton, who has thrown for 1,806 yards and 15 touchdowns. Newton is second on the team in rushing with 304 yards and two touchdowns, showing his dual threat ability when needed. Even being held to just three catches for 42 yards against Morgan State, Jequez Ezzard’s numbers remain fantastic, catching 31 balls for 779 yards and eight touchdowns. Kyle Anthony leads the team with 35 catches and has picked up 453 yards and four touchdowns. The Bison use a plethora of tailbacks with Dedrick Parson taking over on Saturday night. After a big night with multiple scores, Parson now leads the team with 312 rushing yards and three scores.
South Carolina State’s offense came to life against the Hornets, but still average just over 15 points per game on the season. The Bulldogs are putting up less than 300 yards of total offense a game, not an ideal recipe for keeping up with the Bison attack. Tyrece Nick leads the team in both passing and rushing, throwing for 787 yards and three scores, but completing just 43 percent of his throws. Effective on the ground, Nick has rushed for 563 yards and five touchdowns for the Bulldogs. Datron James leads the running backs with 236 yards. The Bulldogs don’t have a single receiver with ten catches yet this season, led by De’mo Burroughs nine receptions for 220 yards and two touchdowns.
Defense has been the knock against the Bison in 2018, despite averaging 35 points per game, they are allowing opponents to score 34 points per game while accumulating 435 yards of total offense. Bryan Cook had a great night against Morgan State, returning a pick for a touchdown and forcing a fumble on the 1-yard line resulting in a touchback. Marcellos Allison leads the team with 42 tackles in their six games. While only picking off four passes, Howard has received some bounces, recovering eight fumbles so far. Zamon Robinson has 5.5 sacks for the Bison defense.
SCSU allows around 27 points per game and have been gashed on the ground this season, allowing nearly 240 rushing yards per game and 430 total yards per game. Chad Gilchrist and Lane Jones lead the Bulldogs with 39 tackles each. Damu Ford has made his way into the backfield for 6.5 tackles for loss in 2018. The Bulldogs have picked off ten passes, with Scott Robinson and Zafir Kelly each coming away with two.
Mike London’s side came away with the victory last season in his first MEAC meeting with longtime SCSU head coach Buddy Pough. The Bison won 28-20 on the road in Orangeburg with Ezzard leading the way with 144 yards receiving and two touchdowns. SCSU won the last matchup at Greene Stadium 14-9 in 2016.
TIME: Saturday, October 27th, 1 p.m.
WATCH LIVE: WDCW 50 CW, WPNT 22 The Point, WJAC 6.2 Me TV, WACH 57.2 Stadium, ENN+
ANNOUNCERS: Phil Schoener (play-by-play), Emory Hunt (analyst), Varun Raghupathi (sidelines)