South Carolina State’s woes can be summed up in two words: no offense

2012-10-08T03:00:00Z South Carolina State’s woes can be summed up in two words: no offenseBy THOMAS GRANT JR., T&D Senior Sports Writer The Times and Democrat

INDIANAPOLIS — The final nail in what was South Carolina State’s Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference title hopes was potentially hammered in in resounding fashion Saturday afternoon at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Quite literally doing the hammering was North Carolina Central, a team which in a losing effort last year scored the most points by a conference team against S.C. State. Not only did the Eagles equal the feat in a 40-10 win at the 29th annual Circle City Classic, it also now holds the distinction of having the largest margin of victory in MEAC play over a Buddy Pough-led Bulldog team.

With five games remaining, S.C. State (2-4, 1-2) could still salvage a 12th consecutive winning season . Yet for many Bulldog supporters, the epitaph for the 2012 campaign can already be summed up in two words — NO OFFENSE.

It’s an expression which for this year’s S.C. State football team has a double meaning. For Pough, his assistants and players, “NO OFFENSE” could sum up their feelings toward a frustrated fan base where high championship expectations are the norm.

From fans and an observers’ standpoint, “NO OFFENSE” means exactly what it says. Exclude the dominating performance in the season-opener against Georgia State and one could see what’s been missing.

As much as Coach Pough does not allow himself to get enthralled with statistics (“Stats are for losers” is an opinion he’s expressed on more than one occasion), the numbers tell a painful truth about the Bulldogs’ offensive woes the past five games:

n 0 — The number of points scored in the second half in four games (Bethune-Cookman, Arizona, Norfolk State and North Carolina Central).

n 1 — The number of touchdowns thrown by Richard Cue

n 5 — The number of times S.C. State has scored 14 or less points

n 9 — The number of interceptions thrown by Cue

n 45 — The total number of points scored by the offense (second-lowest in the MEAC)

n 278.5 — Total yards per game (second-lowest in the MEAC)

Many will put the offense’s problems squarely on the chest of Cue. Yet the Florence native’s struggles are also a combination of other factors, specifically an offensive line which has yet to show any semblance of the group which jelled at midseason last year and has a hard time going one half without a procedure or holding penalty.

The inefficiency of the offensive line has had a residual effort on the rest of the offense. S.C. State’s running game, a program staple, has slowed to a crawl. It also has not helped having a less-than-100-percent Asheton Jordan for his senior year.

The Bulldog wide receivers can also share blame. For every long yardage catch made by Lennel Elmore, Tyler McDonald and Caleb Davis, there have been several dropped passes which could have made a difference for Cue.

There’s also the shaky play exhibited on special teams, where the big returns provided last season by Darius Drummond and Stephen Murphy have been AWOL and errant snaps to punter Nick Belcher have resulted in three turnovers this season.

So now the Bulldogs find themselves in somewhat uncharted territory under Pough — looking up in the MEAC standings and placed in the role of “spoiler” in games against surprising MEAC co-leader Howard, and Delaware State.

As always, a resilient Pough still holds out hope for a dramatic turnaround in the standings. For that to occur, however, something of similar nature must happen for the offense. Hopefully, Saturday’s game was the “eye opener” Pough said that will prompt those long-discussed changes.

Bulldog Bites

Linebacker Joe Thomas of Blackville-Hilda left Saturday’s game with a groin injury. Thomas is second on the team in tackles (39) behind Justin Hughes (44). Also injured was defensive back Jakar Hamilton (concussion) and right guard Tristan Bellamy (shoulder). On Pough’s television show Sunday, he indicated both Thomas and Hamilton could miss some time ... Quarterback Richard Cue’s last touchdown pass in MEAC play took place Nov. 11 against North Carolina A&T ... Saturday’s loss dropped S.C. State to 8-29 when trailing at halftime and was the first in three Circle City Classic appearances.

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

Copyright 2014 The Times and Democrat. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(33) Comments

  1. leachc
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    leachc - October 10, 2012 8:59 pm
    Well, there is always next year. I can't remember an MEAC team ever winning the conference championship with 2 losses. We knew September would be a killer month. I guess that took a lot out of the team's ego and confidence. I pray for changes at all level next season!
  2. iDog76
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    iDog76 - October 10, 2012 7:04 pm
    No disrespect, but the "fat lady" is warming up. She just finished her C scale.

    The dog is barking and snapping. He'll bite next.

    Rider is slowing the horse for dismount . . .

    Looney Tunes is closer . . . That's all folks!
  3. Jr95
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    Jr95 - October 08, 2012 9:01 pm
    Hey Pough are you reading this STATS DONT lie. Mabey you need to go down the street and look at O-W. Their headline says "offensive explosion " and they drop 63 point this weekend This is what we get
    Ga State Cue 2 int 9 of 29
    BCU Cue 2 int and 8 of 28 passes and 69 total yards with
    AU Cue 12 of 25 and 1 int
    Texas A&M Cue 17 of 32 with 1 int and one TD pass
    NSU Cue 7 of 22 with 3 int
  4. bruindog88
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    bruindog88 - October 08, 2012 7:49 pm
    NCCU allowed this game to be played in Indianapolis. it was their home game this year.
  5. kyza96
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    kyza96 - October 08, 2012 4:57 pm
    T. Grant: Thanks for bringing this obvious, deliquency to the forefront. I'm still standing by for the press conference video.

    Coach, you got to first admit you got a problem before you can honestly hope to correct the problem.

    Once again, Jack Welch (former GE CEO) leadership principles: Hire smart people & get the hell out of their way so they can do thier job. Please don't get out of these guys way now, hire an offensive minded guy first.
  6. kyza96
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    kyza96 - October 08, 2012 4:48 pm
    I think that was NCCU home game...not sure though. They played in O'burg last year.
  7. Chris' Cloths
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    Chris' Cloths - October 08, 2012 4:39 pm
    and as coaches...
  8. Chris' Cloths
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    Chris' Cloths - October 08, 2012 4:36 pm
    B-Cookman coach starting calling us the bullies of the MEAC. And we fell for it hook, line, and sinker. That's what started these loses. We are not Bullies. SC State plays with a Commitment to Championships. It's on the banners at Bulldog Stadium. We don't lose to no one in anything. football, track, academics, chili cookoff, UNO, whatever. We got to get that back.
  9. Chris' Cloths
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    Chris' Cloths - October 08, 2012 4:31 pm
    Had to go to the NCCU webpage to find the Circle City attendance which was a lousy 18,000. We had 20,000 in OCD for the NSU game. What a wasted trip. That was our home game and some genius said go to Indy-for what?I hope we get our NCCU game in Orangeburg next year.I told Buddy to go no huddle and shock other teams, he didn't listen. Us against the world needs to sink in. Got to have some pride in yourself and a coaches and players.
  10. bruindog88
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    bruindog88 - October 08, 2012 4:25 pm
    Note to Pough: Paul Johnson, head coach of GA TECH, just fired his defensive coordinator Al Groh. Groh wasn't getting the job done, so Johnson did what he had to do. Please Be Advised!
  11. Pitbull
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    Pitbull - October 08, 2012 3:32 pm
    For those that don't know...Joe Taylor is the head coach at FAMU!!!!
  12. Pitbull
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    Pitbull - October 08, 2012 3:18 pm
    Word on the street is Joe Taylor is new mowed grass....Pough...just remember no one man is bigger than the program...
  13. bruindog88
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    bruindog88 - October 08, 2012 2:10 pm
    Pitbull,

    Dead on Bro. The entire offensive staff, save the RB coach, should be fired. I am not impressed with our WR's at all. They do not run crisp routes like in years past.
  14. dhbestsr
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    dhbestsr - October 08, 2012 11:53 am
    .DHBSr,
    Great comments, Especially you, "SCState_University_Republican."
    Coach Pough, I was a senior when you when you first came to S.C. State as a young football player for Oree Banks. You have been the Main Stay for Football for a while now at SCSU! I hate loosing, especially to teams that have less talent than we do. Come on coach, "Do the right thing and turn this mess around NOW! Change players and coaches! Duplicate what the OL coaches did before so we can win now. Help our kids now!
  15. SCState_University_Republican
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    SCState_University_Republican - October 08, 2012 11:21 am
    There are dozens of coaches who could come in and fix our offense, and would love to do it. With an offense that even comes close to our dfense, we are a top 10 natiolly ranked team. but right now, we cant score 14 points without a pick -6. Sad.
  16. SCState_University_Republican
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    SCState_University_Republican - October 08, 2012 11:19 am
    I know that many of you here dont agree with me politically (although I will change you!) but we can all agree that the mess thats going on has to stop. Clemson was very similarr to us. great athletes, but their offense couldnt do anything. so they went out and got the best OC they could find, and now look...they have one of the best offenses in the country. I know we dont have clemson money, but the point is the same. go out and get the best person you can get to solve your problems
  17. D-Line
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    D-Line - October 08, 2012 10:58 am
    NO OFFENSE, NO COACHING = NO JOB!!!!!!!!!!
    This season is over but I will be there for the kids.
    KEEP PREACH IT SCSU REPUBLICAN
  18. Dawgs101
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    Dawgs101 - October 08, 2012 10:15 am
    Coach moved Tristen Bellamy from center this week. The center position has been an offensive line issue going all the way back to Sam Timothy in 2010. Yet this staff has failed to deal with it. Our offensive line is starting to slip. And that coupled with coach be ing too stubborn to move Pearson and McGouirk out is causing this team to slip as well. These coaches are not getting the job done, but they are coach Poughs pets. As a result, they get to stay on board as coaches. Dag gone shame1
  19. Dawgs101
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    Dawgs101 - October 08, 2012 9:55 am
    "It's old crap"! Arguably, we could say this has been going on since this guy came to town. All the crap with the Malcolm Long Clev MCoy debacles. Losing to Del State back in the day when we all know he had the best team. It was a lack of offense then and so it is now. Cleve could not take a snap under center and we're just correcting that what like 5 years later. First class foolishness to the 25th power. He has to address his staffing problems. McGouirk and Pearson are not cutting it.
  20. bruindog88
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    bruindog88 - October 08, 2012 9:01 am
    Also, Thanks To You Thomas Grant. It's about time someone in the media pointed out the offense as the culprit. During his press conference point out these stats to him. Make him justify this foolishness we have on offense.
  21. bruindog88
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    bruindog88 - October 08, 2012 8:59 am
    PREACH IT SCSU REPUBLICAN!!! I don't normally agree with Republicans on much, but you are dead on point with this. BRAVO!!!
  22. Pitbull
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    Pitbull - October 08, 2012 6:29 am
    Buddy is not a great coach..plain and simple. He has failed to surround himself with competent coaches and now he is being exposed for what he really is. He has allowed the likes of Maurice Drayton, Demetrius Davis and Joe Blackwell to leave...and replaced them with people who are yes men and don't know what they are doing. In other words good coaches left and were replaced by garbage coaches....
  23. CTBulldog
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    CTBulldog - October 08, 2012 6:15 am
    Preach SC State_Republican Preach!!! You summed it all up right there my fellow alum.
  24. SCState_University_Republican
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    SCState_University_Republican - October 08, 2012 5:35 am
    There is no way you can believe that. And if you do, then maybe it's time for us to make a decision as well.
  25. SCState_University_Republican
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    SCState_University_Republican - October 08, 2012 5:34 am
    But obvious ones. And you have to make some hard choices buddy. You have to let a OC who you've known for years go because he isn't producing. Its not easy to cut a friend. But you were not hired to make or keep friends. You were hired to do what's best for this program. And if you really think our current OC is what's best for this program then be a man and admit why. Step up and say "Magouirk is the best fit for this program because .... "

    If you believe it, say it. Defend it.

  26. SCState_University_Republican
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    SCState_University_Republican - October 08, 2012 5:31 am
    Put your loyalties aside and let this guy coach a high school where he belongs. Hire an experienced college offensive coach. Hire an experienced OL coach. I'm all for hiring former players but its not working. Hire an experienced Special teams coach. When drayton had it we were great. Under Joel Taylor, not so much. Do what's right.

    You are not blind. You see the problems. Fix them and get us back where we need to be. It's not major problems that we have. Just minor ones
  27. SCState_University_Republican
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    SCState_University_Republican - October 08, 2012 5:28 am
    And then when you do that, leave him alone. Let him run his offense. You run the program Pough. Don't b threatened by experienced offensive coaches. We have a bunch of great young offensive talent. We can be right back on top next year. You've built a great machine here. But you gotta make changes when needed. Or else you get what we have now. Great offensive talent that can't score because he man driving the car is OC with no license. You gave your friend a shot. Okay. It didn't work.
  28. SCState_University_Republican
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    SCState_University_Republican - October 08, 2012 5:23 am
    You want change? Tell Oliver Pough to do the following:

    Fire his OC, special team coordinator, and OL coaches. Then sit down, evaluate the talent he has on offense to see what's th best offensive style for their talent mix. Maybe it's pro set. Maybe spread. Maybe run and shoot. But whatever it is, go out and hire a offensive coordinator who is experienced in running, and more importantly, teaching that system. To know it doesn't always mean you can teach it.
  29. SCState_University_Republican
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    SCState_University_Republican - October 08, 2012 5:13 am
    You'll see. He will keep pushing the square peg in the round hole. He gonna make it work. He's gonna show all of us that we don't know what we are talking about. That his OC is great and his choice to run Blackwell away was right. That he can win without adjusting to other programs upgrading coaching and talent. That we are all stupid for thinking the offense and its coordinator are the issue. He's gonna show us.

    Just watch his press conference this week.
  30. SCState_University_Republican
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    SCState_University_Republican - October 08, 2012 5:10 am
    I don't blame our QBs last year when none of them could take a snap under center. I blame the QB coach. I don't blame Cue this year for not being as prepared as he could be. I blame the QB coach for not preparing him. I blame the offensive coordinator for ruining our offense and sorry play calls. I blame buddy for keeping the OC in the position when our offensive production has declined every year he's been there. Not th kids faults. It's the adults. It's Oliver Pough. He won't change.
  31. SCState_University_Republican
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    SCState_University_Republican - October 08, 2012 5:07 am
    And as you can see during games, buddy isn't good at making adjustments. Buddy has won all these years because he's had more talent than the others. He is a great recruiter. Can't touch him there. But he has won because he's had talent, great Offensive line coaches and great defenses. Well, he fired his best OL coach who as OC led us to 3 conference titles. Now anyone who can score 14 points on us can win because we can't score more than that. And I do t blame th players.
  32. SCState_University_Republican
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    SCState_University_Republican - October 08, 2012 5:04 am
    He won't admit our QBs struggle because our QB coach is a former back who doesn't understand the nuances of playing QB much less coaching one. buddy won't admit any of this. So instead he'll do what he always does. Treat us like we are all stupid. He'll tell us that it's someone else's fault. Not his for sticking with an OC who can't get it done. Buddy would rather the ship sink than change captains. Because to make a change now is called adjusting
  33. SCState_University_Republican
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    SCState_University_Republican - October 08, 2012 5:01 am
    Buddy ain't making any changes. To make changes would be admitting that the current set up doesn't work. Buddy is to arrogant to admit a mistake. He won't admit his offensive coordinator has destroyed this offense. He won't admit he has run off a great OC and replaces him with a yes man. He won't admit that he refuses to hire experienced OCs because they won't let him meddle in the offense.
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