TALLAHASSEE, FL – South Carolina State quarterback Adrian Kollock, who has been hampered by injuries since early in the 2014 campaign, completed 15 of 23 attempts for 224 yards and a touchdown and added two rushing scores and Jalen “Scoot” Simmons galloped for 204 yards on21 attempts to power the Bulldogs to a 34-17 win over host Florida A&M Saturday at Bragg Memorial Stadium.
The win, the third in a row by the Bulldogs kept Coach Buddy Pough’s team tied atop the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference standings, with two games remaining – at Morgan State next Saturday and home Nov. 22 against Norfolk State. The Bulldogs climbed to 7-3 overall and improved to 5-1 in the MEAC and in a tie for first place with North Carolina A&T and Bethune-Cookman.
“This win was a huge one for us and keeps us at the top of the conference standings,” said Pough, It’s nice to have your destiny in your own hands. So, today’s win was special. We came in with three to go and now it’s down to two to go.”
Kollock, who returned to the field last week in a 59-7 win over Savannah State, after missing two games with an injury, had one of his best outings of the year. The redshirt sophomore had a 10-yard scoring toss to tight end Temarrick Hemmingway and got into the end zone on two 1-yard scoring runs in the victory. The Bulldogs also got a 16-yard scoring run from backup runner Justin Tayor in the contest.
FAMU’s Damien Fleming, who has been a thorn in the side of SC State most of his career, connected on 23 of 35 attempts for 284 yards and two scores in the contest for the Rattlers who fell to 2-8 overall and 2-4 in the MEAC.
The Bulldogs, in earning the win, capitalized on an interception and two short punts that gave SC State possession on the FAMU side of the field, to break out to a 13-0 lead early in the second quarter. Following a Antonio Hamilton interception that gave the Bulldogs a first and 10 at the Rattler 38. State needed just four plays to find the end zone, when Kollock hit Hemmingway for the TD with 6:55 on the first-period clock.
Two field goals by Tyler Scandrett, from 21 and 24 yards, respectively, pushed the SC State advantage to 13-0. Both drives were short, one beginning at the FAMU 36 and the other at the 31, both following short punts.
Florida A&M came back to close the gap to 13-10 at the half, capitalizing on a Bulldog fumble for their first TD, Fleming’s 13-yard completion to Dennis Hall with 8:46 left in the second. Chase Varnadore added a 35-yard field goal with 58 seconds left in the half to close the gap to 13-10.
The Bulldogs got two scoring runs from Kollock and one from Taylor in the second half for 21 points. FAMU’s second-half score came on Fleming’s 10-yard toss to Zach Webster with 11:02 to play.
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