ORANGEBURG, SC (July 29, 2023) – South Carolina State opened its first day of preseason camp Friday (July 28th) morning inside O.C. Dawson Stadium.

As the team prepare to face Jackson State in the MEAC/SWAC Challenge in Atlanta Saturday, Aug. 26., before beginning camp, head coach Buddy Pough made it clear what the expectations will be for this year’s Bulldog squad.

“We have a lot of work to do…big time,” Pough said after the Bulldogs finished the first of 25 scheduled practices leading up to the first game. “Last year was unacceptable, this is our opportunity to get rolling again. We talked about not having won a game since beating Central last year. It’s been a long time.”

“Our big mission is to do things better than last year,” Pough said. “We have to go about the task of correcting our ills.”

The work began Friday as the team hit the field in shorts and helmets.

“Hopefully this team is ready to go,” Pough said. “We have a couple of pieces in place and couple of new guys we’re trying to work in. The core of this team returns, so we’re excited about what we look like.”

Pough said he was impressed with the way the guys moved Friday and praised strength and conditioning coach David Erby and his staff for the work they did this summer.

“We have pretty good returning personnel,” Pough said. “We have our QB back along with some top-notch defensive guys with a lot of experience. Hopefully we can get a little bit better break from the injury bug than we did last year.”

SC State opens the year with a high-profile game against two-time defending SWAC champion Jackson State University. The Bulldogs defeated JSU in the 2021 Celebration Bowl, but a lot has changed since these two teams last met in Atlanta.

“The preparation changes a little bit because we have two new coaches in place,” Pough said. (Coach) Magouirk with the offense and (Coach) Howard on defense, they both make a big difference. Right now, we feel it’s more about blocking and tackling than schemes, but we should have a little bit different style.”

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