South Carolina State 2013 FCS Football Playoff Capsule

South Carolina State Bulldogs


At 7-1, South Carolina State ended up tied with Bethune-Cookman atop the MEAC standings. The Bulldogs needed an at-large bid to reach the playoffs though and the committee decided that their resume was good enough. There are not any great wins on the schedule, but there are no bad losses either with the only defeats coming against Clemson, Coastal Carolina and Bethune-Cookman.

2013 Record: 9-3, 7-1
Coach: Oliver “Buddy” Pough

Big Wins: 10/5 North Carolina A&T (29-24), 11/14 Morgan State (38-3)
Bad Losses: 8/31 Coastal Carolina (20-27), 10/26 at Bethune-Cookman (3-14)

The Bulldogs defense is among the best in the nation. Statistically speaking, there is none better. The unit allows about 80 yards per game on the ground and about 150 through the air. Moving the ball against this group is never easy. Senior linebacker Joe Thomas has emerged as the leader in the middle. He recorded an impressive 116 tackles with 7.5 sacks, 19.0 tackles-for-loss, four quarterback hurries, five pass breakups and one interception. The best pass rush in the FCS goes well beyond Thomas. Defensive end Andrew Carter tallied 11.0 sacks and 15.5 tackles-for-loss, while Alex Glover added 9.5 sacks from the other end spot. Linebacker Shaquan Brock and freshman James Robinson have also done a great job getting to the quarterback. All of the pressure makes life much easier for the secondary and Darius Drummond, Mason Harris and Steven Murphy have taken advantage.

Richard Cue is an experienced senior quarterback, but he has not been particularly efficient this season. He has completed just 54.5 percent of his pass attempts and thrown 11 interceptions compared to 15 touchdowns. Cue can extend plays with his feet, but he must avoid mistakes in the playoffs if South Carolina State wants to advance. Although throwing the ball towards 6-3 wide receiver Tyler McDonald is usually not a horrible idea. The big receiver caught 46 passes for 894 yards and seven touchdowns. The young running back duo of Justin Taylor and Dondre Lewis-Freeman has had some quality outings. South Carolina State would prefer to chew up clock and keep the ball on the ground as much as possible, but that may not work against the tough teams the Bulldogs could face in the playoffs.

Statistical Leaders:
Rushing: Justin Taylor, RB, 648 yards
Passing: Richard Cue, QB, 1,740 yards
Receiving: Tyler McDonald, WR, 894 yards
Tackles: Joe Thomas, LB, 116
Sacks: Andrew Carter, DE, 11.0
Interceptions: Mason Harris, DB, 3

2013 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 171.2 (54th in nation, 5th in conference)
Passing Offense: 189.5 (80, 4)
Total Offense: 360.6 (73, 3)
Scoring Offense: 30.7 (35, 1)
Rushing Defense: 79.9 (1, 1)
Pass Defense: 156.1 (5, 3)
Total Defense: 236.0 (1, 1)
Scoring Defense: 15.0 (3, 1)
Turnover Margin: 0.4 (34, 2)
Sacks: 4.91 (1, 1)
Sacks Allowed: 1.09 (17, 1)

Recent Playoff Appearances:
2010    First Round    Lost to Georgia Southern
2009    First Round    Lost to Appalachian State
2008    First Round    Lost to Appalachian State
1982    First Round    Defeated Furman
1982    Quarterfinals    Lost to Louisiana Tech
1981    First Round    Defeated Tennessee State
1981    Semifinals    Lost to Idaho State

*all team stats through 11/16


Playoff Central