South Carolina State shows stirring resolve in losing effort against Indiana

When FBS Indiana leapt out to a big lead against South Carolina State, putting up three touchdowns and 221 yards in the first quarter alone, it looked the expected rout was on. Not so fast.

“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.

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