#40 South Carolina State FCS Football 2012 Preview

South Carolina State Bulldogs

2012 Overall Rank: #40
South Carolina State FCS Football 2012 Team Preview
South Carolina State Team Page


Coach Buddy Pough has had South Carolina State as a consistent winner during his time in Orangeburg. In fact, the Bulldogs have won at least seven games in each of the last ten seasons. SCSU failed to make the playoffs in 2011 after a few trips, but it really was a rebuilding year in 2011. The Bulldogs return just about everybody to an offense that has a ton of potential and are solid enough defensively to fill the holes.

2011 Record: (7-4, 6-2)
2011 Postseason: None
Coach: Buddy Pough (83-33 at South Carolina State, 83-33 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Kevin Magouirk
Defensive Coordinator: Mike Adams

Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Asheton Jordan, RB, 774 yards
Passing: Richard Cue, QB, 900 yards
Receiving: Tyler McDonald, WR, 573 yards
Tackles: Joe Thomas, LB, 100
Sacks: James Fulwood, DE, 3.0
Interceptions: Joe Thomas, LB, 3

Other Key Returnees: WR Caleb Davis, S Darius Drummond, WR Lenell Elmore, G Sam Hammond, S Courtney Ingram, RB Jalen Simmons, QB Derrick Wiley, WR Thomas Williams

Key Losses: S LaTaris Douglas, S Dominique Ellis, K Blake Erickson, DT Ronell Ferguson, TE Antwanne Kerr, OT Juavahr Nathan, S Devonne Quattlebaum, LB Donovan Richard, S Christian Thompson, DE Pat Washington

A couple starters are gone, but most of the roster is back for coordinator Kevin Magouirk’s offense. It starts at quarterback where Richard Cue and Derrick Wiley split time. Cue was the slightly more involved signal caller, throwing for 900 yards and seven touchdowns, while adding 514 yards and eight more touchdowns on the ground. Wiley is a running threat as well and totaled 285 yards and four scores on the ground. In the air he completed just over half of his passes for 727 yards and six touchdowns. Both quarterbacks did a relatively good job of keeping the interceptions down, but they could be more accurate passers too. Asheton Jordan leads the ground game when the quarterbacks are not running. He rushed for 774 yards and five touchdowns. Jalen Simmons is a quality back as well and could play a larger role this season. Tyler McDonald and Caleb Davis were the top receivers last season, but junior Thomas Williams and sophomore Julius Pendergrass are dangerous playmakers as well. With the bulk of the offensive line returning, led by Sam Hammond, the South Carolina State offense could be in for a big year.

The defense has a lot more holes to fill from a unit that was average by MEAC standards. This is not a conference that produces a lot of yards. However, SCSU did rank second in the conference in scoring defense despite ranking fifth in total defense. That margin is in large part due to the large turnover margin and the defenses ability to make plays. The team totaled 17 interceptions last year led by linebacker Joe Thomas’ three. Six other players had two interceptions. That leaves quite a few returning players with the experience to continue the Bulldogs tradition of picking off passes. Darius Drummond and Courtney Ingram should lead the way in the secondary and at least pick off a pass or two. However, the secondary did lose some talent and the front line needs to get pressure on the quarterback in order to force the opposition to make those bad throws. And without end Pat Washington and his 7.5 sacks, that could be an issue. James Fulwood will need to emerge as a more consistent pass rusher this season.

The Bottom Line:
South Carolina State will need to find some new playmakers on defense. Chris Thompson, Dominique Ellis and Donovan Richard are in NFL camps and replacing players of that caliber will not be easy. But there are some younger Bulldogs who are expected to be ready to step up and fill the void. Even if the defense is not as good as it was last year, the offense should be able to pick up the slack. The quarterback situation may never be settled and splitting time between Cue and Wiley is not a horrible thing. Wiley could take the job for good, but Cue had a great freshman campaign. There are certainly teams out there that would love to have the problem of choosing between those two quarterbacks. In the end, the defense and a tough schedule may keep South Carolina State out of the playoff picture. With Bethune-Cookman and Norfolk State at home, South Carolina State could win the MEAC, but those are also their first two conference games of the year and it remains to be seen if the defense will be ready that early.

Projected Postseason: None

2011 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 191.09 (26th in nation, 2nd in conference)
Passing Offense: 150.18 (104, 9)
Total Offense: 341.27 (71, 5)
Scoring Offense: 28.45 (41, 2)
Rushing Defense: 133.64 (29, 5)
Pass Defense: 187.27 (27, 6)
Total Defense: 320.91 (23, 5)
Scoring Defense: 18.55 (10, 2)
Turnover Margin: .91 (16, 2)
Sacks: 2.27 (35, 7)
Sacks Allowed: 1.09 (16, 1)

Madness 2012 FCS Football Recruit Rankings:
#1 Marquise Jones
#3 Javarius Leamon
#29 Dondre Brown
#56 Deion Walker
#78 Reggie Owens