Bulldogs hold ‘Meet the Players Day,’ show improvement during scrimmage

2013-08-18T00:00:00Z Bulldogs hold ‘Meet the Players Day,’ show improvement during scrimmageBy THOMAS GRANT JR., Senior Sports Writer The Times and Democrat

The fans in attendance Saturday at Oliver C. Dawson Stadium for “Meet the Players Day” got into the “Bulldog Spirit” early.

On the final play of the team’s second press scrimmage, quarterback TeDarius Wiley dropped back and lofted a pass toward a wide open Brandon King, who raced untouched across the goal line for a 36-yard touchdown.

It was the sixth offensive touchdown of the scrimmage. Both Wiley and running back Dondre Brown scored twice and Everette Shaw and Xavier Quick each rushed for a touchdown. The offensive domination gave head coach Buddy Pough a higher optimism about how the group will fare this season.

“We are beginning to show some signs of being able to do some things on offense,” Pough said. “It looks like we’re going to be able to run the football a little bit. We’ve got a few running backs and the offensive line is starting to come off the football a little bit better. Hopefully, we can continue to develop the rest of the depth of what we’ve got so that we can build a good, solid offense.”

The defense’s performance was not the most noticeable area of concern for Pough. Preseason All-Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference tackle Javon Hargrave was helped off Willie Jeffries Field by two teammates, favoring his left ankle injured while attempting to block Nick Belcher’s successful 47-yard field goal.

Fellow lineman James Robinson also received medical attention for a leg injury. Both are expected to have X-rays today to determine their status.

The scrimmage started favorably for the defense as linebacker Joe Thomas turned a Wiley pass in the middle of the field into a 45-yard interception return for a touchdown. Taking more snaps the first half of the scrimmage than starter Richard Cue, Wiley moved the Bulldogs’ offense back downfield and found Temarrick Hemingway for a 5-yard touchdown.

“Coach Pough and (offensive coordinator/offensive line) Coach Joe (Blackwell) is always telling the quarterbacksm ‘Do it and forget about it. Don’t worry about it. Just keep moving forward’,” Wiley said.

The first of two long runs by redshirt sophomore Everette Shaw set up a 3-yard touchdown run by Brown. In the second half of the scrimmage, Cue found success leading the Bulldogs downfield for Brown’s second touchdown run.

Redshirt sophomore Joey Copeland and true freshman Kylen Binn conducted a series on offense. Binn threw a 30-yard pass to Dennis Rowe for the second-longest pass play of the scrimmage.

When asked if Wiley had moved ahead of Cue for the starting job, Pough insisted both will see action this season.

“Both guys have had their moments and I don’t know if TeDarius or Richard separated themselves from each other,” Pough said. “I think they’ve separated themselves pretty good from the pack. As far as the actual battle between the two, I kind of think we’re going to end up playing two. I really do. We’ve just got to figure that out. It’s a hard thing to do, but I believe both guys deserve to play.”

S.C. State will have today off before concluding two-a-day practices Monday at 9:10 a.m. and 7 p.m. The Bulldogs will also not practice Tuesday, but will attend the annual “Rally at the Square” in the downtown plaza starting at 6:30 p.m.

Season tickets no on sale

The South Carolina State University Ticket Office is accepting applications for season tickets for the 2013 football season.

Three packages are available for purchase:

  • Season football package — One reserved seat for all five home games — $130.
  • Football/basketball package — One reserved seat for each of the home football and basketball games — $185.
  • Youth/alumni football package — One general admission seat for all home football games for the classes of 2009-13 — $100.
  • Also on sale are tickets for the game against North Carolina A&T at the Georgia Dome; tickets for the Palmetto City Classic against Benedict at Williams-Brice Stadium; tickets for the Atlanta Football Classic; season parking passes ($80) and basketball season tickets ($75).

For more information, call 803-536-8579 or 1-800-298-9157.

Bird-watching

From Myrtlebeachonline.com

CONWAY — While sophomore quarterback Alex Ross continued to look like a seasoned starter running the Coastal Carolina offense in the team’s recent scrimmage, the battle for the backup job remains undecided.

Redshirt freshman Dalton Demos was held out with a rolled ankle, so fifth-year senior Brian Kass and sophomore Michael Church split the rest of the significant quarterback work while continuing one of the ongoing competitions of preseason camp.

“I think between the three of those guys, we’ll have a guy ready to go,” offensive coordinator Dave Patenaude said. “Really when you look at it, Brian was here in the summer watching film, but he’s only been here very limited, and the other two guys are only in their second full year in the system so those guys are still coming along. But I’m confident by the time we get out there, if something unfortunate happened, then we’d be able to go in there and just continue rolling along.”

Ross was 8-12 passing for 90 yards and two touchdowns, while Kass went 3—5 for 23 yards and rushed for 30 yards and a score at the scrimmage held this past Wednesday. Church completed 5-9 passes for 43 yards along with 21 rushing yards.

Contact the writer: tgrant@timesanddemocrat.com or (803) 533-5547. For more information about S.C. State athletics, read Grant’s blog “Following the Bulldogs” at www.thebulldogzone.com. Follow Grant on Twiter@TandDSports.

Video interviews with South Carolina State running back Dondre Brown and defensive lineman Marquis Parks are available at www.thebulldogzone.com.

Copyright 2016 The Times and Democrat. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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