South Carolina State Posts Shutout Over Howard
Washington, DC—October 29---South Carolina State took advantage of some early miscues to build a 17-0 halftime and then put the game away with two fourth quarter scored en route to a 31-0 win over Howard University in a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference game at Greene Stadium.
The game was played under some difficult weather conditions that included a combination of wind, rain, snow flurries and cold temperatures. It affected the play of both teams early, but it appeared to have a more detrimental effect on the Bison.
The Bulldogs (5-4 overall, 4-2 in the MEAC) got on the board early when Howard had a bad snap from punt formation that gave SC State the ball at the Bison 14-yard line.
The Howard defense held on downs and forced a 22-yard Blake Erickson’s field goal at the 11:04 mark of the first quarter.
The Bison (4-5 overall, 3-3 in the MEAC) gave SC State another gift on the ensuing kickoff when Willie Carter fumbled and gave the Bulldogs a short field at the Howard 11-yard line.
It took the opportunistic Bulldogs two plays as Asheton Jordan powered his way in from two yards out to give the Bulldogs a 10-0 lead at the 10:22 mark of the first period.
SC State took advantage of yet another Howard miscue, this time on a Bryan Jackson punt that was held up by the wind and traveled only 13 yards, giving the Bulldogs possession at the Bison 37. This time, SC State used five plays with Richard Cue connecting with Thomas Williams from 21 yards to close out the first half scoring.
“This was the worst game we have played all season,” said Howard first year head coach Gary Harrell. “SC State has been a great program for years in this conference and you just cannot give them the kind of opportunities we gave them early in the game.”
The Bison defense, which came into the game ranked in several statistical categories, was able to keep the Bulldogs in check through most of the game, limiting them to less than 100 yards of total offense through three quarters.
Despite the miscues and inability to generate much offense, the Bison were still within striking distance. Then the game changed on one key possession late in the third quarter. Effectively using the running of Terrance Leffall and Andra Williams, who combined to grind out 60 yards on 12 plays, Howard moved the ball down to the SC State three-yard line on a first and goal. But the Bulldogs defense stood tall and forced the Bison to turn the ball over on downs.
It seemed to deflate Howard as SC State embarked on a 99-yard drive that took eight plays and was capped off with a 71-yard haunt by SC State quarterback Richard Cue.
“We must capitalize on our opportunities; we are too good of a team to not capitalize,” lamented Coach Harrell. “We had some momentum going on that drive. To not score there was big.”
SC State would go to add the game’s final score after a four-yard punt that gave them another short field. Cue cashed in with his second TD of the game, this time from six yards out.
The Howard offense was able to get a productive day from Leffall, who rushed for a game-high 109 yards on 30 tough carries. But it proved to be a difficult day for freshman quarterback Greg McGhee, who completed only four of 15 passes for a season-low 45 yards.
“Greg’s hand numbed up and he struggled all day,” said Harrell of his young signal caller, who came into the game averaging 206 yards per game of total offense. “He did not have a good game today.”
Added SC State Coach Buddy Pough, “We knew that they were going to struggle throwing the ball, so we made them one dimensional. Once we got the big lead in the first quarter, we were able to do some different things.”
Cue led SC State with 75 yards on 10 carries and 2 TDs and Jordan added 54 on 19 carries and a TD.
Howard linebacker Keith Pough, who is from Orangeburg, SC, had a brilliant performance in defeat, collecting 14 tackles, including nine solos, three tackles for losses and two pass breakups.