Corey Fields Jr. completed 11-of-16 passes for 136 yards and two touchdowns to help lead the offense to a 19-17 victory over the defense during SC State’s Garnet and Blue Spring Game.
Fields returned to the field Saturday after suffering a season-ending injury against Morgan State last year. He spent the majority of the spring as the first-team quarterback after deciding to return to the Bulldogs for another season.
“It felt good to be back on the field with the team,” Fields said. “I was able to get into a little bit of a rhythm and see some things at full speed.”
Fields opened the game with a 65-yard touchdown pass to Rakim White. His second offensive possession ended with a second touchdown pass as he found tight end Lawson Danley on the goal line for a one-yard score.
“Overall, I give myself a B or a B-,” Fields said. “There were a few throws where I should have gotten the ball away sooner to avoid a sack. I also need to do a better job communicating with my receivers to make sure everyone is on the same page.”
New offensive coordinator Kevin Magouirk said he was excited from what he saw from the offense Saturday.
“The guys came our ready to play. We were able to make some plays. We stayed healthy, and the team knew what they were doing,” Magouirk said. “They’re starting to understand the system, but we’re just scratching the surface, it looked like the offense ran pretty smooth.”
The Bulldogs finished with 329 yards of total offense including 125 yards rushing. Josh Shaw led the SC State running backs with eight carries for 67 yards and a touchdown. Tyler Smith finished with 22 yards on five carries and Dimitri Simmons had 36 yards on eight carries.
“The offensive line impressed me today,” Magouirk said. “The backs also did a heck of a job. It didn’t look like we have very many personnel mistakes or missed assignments, but we’ll go back and watch the tape.”
The defense fell behind 13-2, but were able to get two stops before the half to cut the lead to 13-6. The defense opened the second half with back-to-back stops to cut the lead to 13-10. Trailing 19-10 in the fourth quarter, the defense closed the game with two stops and recovered a fumble to make the final score 19-17.
“We were missing some (starters) out there today, but we got a lot of the young guys some work,” defensive coordinator Jonathan Saxon said. “I’m pleased with the effort. I feel like we’re building that foundation. It gets you excited when you see them perform the things you have worked on in practice.”
Delaware State transfer Aiden Weber led the Bulldogs with five total tackles (four solo). Jamare Benjamin had three tackles and a pass deflection while Kwante Harry and Carnell Jones each had three solo tackles and an assist.
Saturday’s spring game marks the end of SC State’s spring practice schedule. The team will meet again in May to begin summer workouts as they prepare for fall camp in August.
“We still have plenty of work to do,” SC State head coach Buddy Pough said. “(This spring) our focus has been to find enough people to put in place for us to have some success this fall. We have lots of work to do as far as being able to run the football. Hopefully, we’ll study ourselves in order to find a way to be more consistent.”
The Bulldogs were without defensive linemen Patrick Godbolt and Jeblonski Green along with receiver Richard Bailey and quarterback Prometheus Franklin.