Coaches and players live for the bye week during football season, and South Carolina State’s Buddy Pough is no different.
Following a stormy 48-13 loss to Georgia Tech last Saturday, Pough and his Bulldogs (0-3) are off this week before their home opener next Saturday, Sept. 23, against The Citadel.
Leading into that game, Pough is focusing on getting his coaching staff and his players ready for a game they hope will be their first win of the season.
“We can talk about improvement and standards, but right now, we need to win a football game,” Pough said. “We’re looking forward to this week off and seeing if we can put something together.”
The Bulldogs matched Georgia Tech’s ground game with 196 rushing yards between seven runners, led by redshirt freshman QB Andre Washington (12 carries, 60 yards, one touchdown) and sophomore running back Jawarn Howell (six carries, 64 yards). Freshman running back Kacy Fields also reached the end zone for S.C. State.
Pough played three quarterbacks Saturday – Washington, senior Corey Fields Jr. (returning from a foot injury), and redshirt freshman Promethius Franklin II – and you can expect the Bulldogs to continue with that routine as the season progresses.
“We’ve pretty much resigned ourselves to the fact we’ll play both quarterbacks. Corey’s not quite full-speed, but we’ll try to the run the offense through him,” Pough said. “We kind of like the idea of rotating. I feel like Brian Jenkins and Alvin Wyatt when they were at Bethune-Cookman; they always played more than one QB. We’ll sort through it during the off week.”
Pough is by no means throwing in the towel in his 22nd and final season at the helm of SCSU, but he’s also realistic about just keeping his team healthy and ready for MEAC play.
“The die was cast; we threw all our eggs into beating Jackson, but after that game, it was an eye-opener,” he said. “You’ve got to be realistic about our chances. We’re honest with our guys about our chances. Let’s see if we can get better as we go. We were bad earlier, but at the same time, we’re better than we were. We want to see if we can be good enough to play teams at our level and see where we are.”