“We got behind big, gave up a couple of deep balls,” South Carolina State coach Buddy Pough said in published reports. “From that point on, we got a little better.”
His scrappy Bulldogs would pull within 10 points on two occasions during the second half. Indiana, which used three different quarterbacks in gaining first-year coach Kevin Wilson’s initial victory with the Hoosiers, didn’t help themselves — committing 20 penalties to break the school record (16) set in 1962 and matched in 1998.
South Carolina State (1-2, 1-0 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference) quarterback Derrick Wiley finished 15-of-30 for 216 yards with two touchdowns, while running 14 times for 63 yards. His performance included a highlight-reel, one-play touchdown drive early on, when Tyler McDonald took his screen pass and dashed 69 yards to cut Indiana’s lead to 14-7. Later, Jalen Simmons’ 21-yard touchdown run made it 31-21 with 12:10 to go.
Unfortunately, the Bulldogs ultimately slipped to 0-8 all-time against Football Bowl Subdivision teams — but, if ever there was such a thing as a moral victory, this was probably one. South Carolina State returns home to face fellow MEAC foe Delaware State this week.