Howard rolled into their homecoming meeting 3-1 in the conference and needing to get a win to keep up with FAMU(4-0 MEAC) and North Carolina A&T (3-1 MEAC) in the MEAC.
Unfortunately, it seemed the Howard Bison had their minds more on what party they were going to attend moreso than the South Carolina State Bulldogs.
The Bulldogs came out on the attack early, marching down the field with an 11 play, 72 yard drive that ended in a 14 yard touchdown run from Tyrece Nick. The converted PAT put South Carolina State up 7-0. In the second quarter SCSU would extend to a two touchdown advantage on Omar Cummings’ 40-yard touchdown scamper.
When Dillon Bredesen connected on a 46-yard field goal, SCSU would go up 17-0. Howard would finally crack the scoreboard when Dedrick Parson took it 62-yards to the house. The extra point cut the lead to ten at 17-7. South Carolina State would score once more right before the half when Bredesen knocked through his second field goal of the half, this time from 20 yards to put the Bulldogs up 20-7.
Offensively speaking, all was quiet in the third quarter.
Tyrece Nick’s second score of the day, this one from 1-yard out, put the Bulldogs up 27-7.
Caylin Newton and the Howard offense responded with a 65-yard pitch-and-catch from Newton to Faraji Joseph, trimming the Bulldogs’ lead to 27-14. The Howard defense stopped SCSU from doing any further damage and the Bison offense took adavantage and cut the lead to 6, 27-21, on 1 2-yard run from running back Dedrick Parson with just 1:53 left in the contest.
After the touchdown, it appeared the Bison had recovered a perfectly executed onside kick but a penalty wiped it away. Howard would attempt another onside but that would be recovered by SCSU. The Bulldog offense converted a third and five that allowed them to run out the clock and hang on to win.
The Bulldogs’ defense harassed Howard quarterback Caylin Newton into two interceptions on the day and generally limited his effectiveness.
‘South Carolina State head coach Buddy Pough on his team’s win:
A very huge and much needed win for our team on the road against a very good Bison football team,” said head coach Buddy Pough. “We made some big plays early on but they(Howard) kept coming down the stretch to keep the game close.
The win improves SCSU to 3-5 overall but tied for third overall in the conference at 3-2. South Carolina State has a bye next week and returns to action November 10 when they head to Tallahassee, Florida to face FAMU. Kickoff is scheduled for 4 p.m. EST and can be seen on ESPN3. The loss drops Howard below .500 to 3-4 and ties them for third in the MEAC with these same Bulldogs at 3-2. However Howard doesn’t have too much time to lick their wounds as FAMU comes calling November 3rd. Kickoff for this game is 1:00 p.m. EST.