South Carolina State coach Buddy Pough’s blunt assessment of his streaking defenders really can’t be denied.
After the FCS’s top-ranked defense held MEAC foe Norfolk State to just six first downs (the third time that’s happened already this season) and under 100 yards of total offense in the 34-13 win, here’s Coach Pough:
“Need I say more? It’s pretty obvious that those guys are pretty good, huh? They can stop almost anybody, I think.”
Save for then-No. 16 FBS Georgia Tech, which nipped the Bulldogs in their opener, he’s right.
[SOUTH CAROLINA STATE’S BUDDY POUGH gives a lot of credit to his former coach and predecessor Willie Jeffries, who still has a big influence on the program.]
In the midst of an impressive four-game winning streak, South Carolina State’s bone-jarring defense has surrendered only a single passing touchdown and roughly 58 yards a game. They allowed just a scant 41 yards rushing last week, part of an effort that has the Bulldogs atop the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference’s stats line for total defense. (And by a long shot: Bethune-Cookman is second, and is giving up 123 more yards per game.) The closer you get to the goal line, the worse-er it gets: Norfolk recovered a muffed punt at the Bulldogs’ 10 last week, and never moved an inch — forcing a 26-yard field goal.
Need we say more? Norfolk would become the 21st consecutive MEAC win — a league record — and 13th straight home win for the Bulldogs (4-1, 2-0).
Their next challenge, however, may be the steepest yet: Undefeated Bethune, which along with that No. 2 defense is averaging close to 50 points a night.