South Carolina State is a quarter-way through its football season, and for many supporters, the results have not measured up to expectations.
The Bulldogs are currently 0-3 after a 48-13 loss at Georgia Tech Saturday, and will have a bye this week as they prepare for their home opener Saturday, Sept. 23, against The Citadel.
SC State head coach Buddy Pough gave an evaluation of his team during his weekly meeting with the press Monday in Orangeburg.
“We’re not nearly far enough along, or mature enough (right now),” Pough said. “(This week) we will go back to a camp mentality, focusing on fundamentals and early-season stuff. We’ve got to get to the point where we have clearly defined roles for everyone on this team.”
Offensively, Pough said the plan is to continue to play multiple quarterbacks. Senior Corey Fields started against the Yellow Jackets Saturday, but freshmen Andre Washington and Prometheus Franklin each received snaps.
“This was not the plan,” Pough said of the quarterback rotation. “We thought it would be one guy, but we like the skill set of the combination, so that’s where we are now.”
South Carolina State has thrown for a combined 214 yards through its first three games. Fields led the team with 91 yards against Georgia Tech, but also threw an interception early in the contest.
Richard Bailey had three catches for 40 yards against the Yellow Jackets, but Pough said he and Justin Smith-Brown have both been dealing with injuries forcing true freshmen Nigel Johnson and Jaylin Linder to get more reps.
“We’re playing all young skill guys, they’re green as a gourd,” Pough said. “They are good kids, and hard workers, they just don’t have that experience. I’m looking forward to seeing them coming out of these open weeks.”
On the defensive side, Pough lamented his team’s inability to stop teams from running the football. The Bulldogs have given up an average of 200 yards per game.
“That will be the big emphasis over these next two weeks,” Pough said. “We have enough bodies; we just haven’t played well enough. We’re in the process of getting a better read on who can do what (along the defensive line).”
With a lack of run support, Pough said it has been hard for the defense to make any progress.
“If you can’t stop the run, it’s almost impossible to stop the pass because of a lack of focus,” Pough said. “We have more issues than we can add up, but our guys are working at it. We still have good people over there doing what they need to do, and we think we’ll figure it out.”