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The South Carolina State football team began preparation for its 11-game fall schedule bright and early on Tuesday morning, with the first of 15 spring workouts.

Approximately 75 Bulldog players were in attendance for the 6:15 a.m. drills, which were conducted in shorts and helmets.

“We are back at it again with spring football practice; and it seems to be an exciting time around campus with football starting back,” Bulldog head coach Oliver "Buddy" Pough said. "And you have some new faces on the field."

Pough, entering his 17th and final year at the helm, needs just nine victories to become the winningest football coach in program history.

"I’m eager to get things going again and seems like time goes by fast when you are having fun,” Pough said. “We lost some great players from last season in Darius Leonard, Dayshawn Taylor and Justin Evans.

"But we will have our entire defensive front back and some talented guys who were red-shirted last season.”

S.C. State returns eight starters on offense and six on defense for the 2018 season, along with a few new additions to the coaching staff in offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Bennett Swygert and offensive line coach Na'Shan Goddard.

The Bulldogs will conduct 15 practices and two scrimmages, which will culminate with the annual Garnet and Blue spring game April 14. The contest kicks off at 1 p.m. at Oliver C. Dawson Stadium and admission is free.

S.C. State's 11-game schedule this coming season includes two Football Bowl Subdivision teams: Central Florida and Georgia Southern. The Bulldogs will play six road games, with five home games scheduled in Orangeburg. Nine Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference schools are on the schedule.

S.C. State season tickets are on sale and can be purchased by calling 803-536-8759 or visiting the Athletic Ticket Office on campus. For more information on Bulldog football, visit www.scsuathletics.com or call the Office of Athletic Media Relations at 803-536-7060.

On Friday, April 13, the South Carolina State class of 1975 will host its annual Lift-A-Bulldog Oyster Roast Fundraiser held on the S.C. State campus. More details about the event will be announced.

2018 spring football schedule

1 - Wednesday, March 21

2 - Thursday, March 22, 6:15 a.m.

3 - Friday, March 23, 4:15 p.m.

4 - Saturday, March 24, 10 a.m.

5 - Tuesday, March 27, 6:15 a.m.

6 - Thursday, March 29, 6:15 a.m.

7 - Friday, March 30, 4:15 p.m.

8 - Saturday, March 31, 10 a.m. (scrimmage)

9 - Tuesday, April 3, 6:15 a.m.

10 - Thursday, April 5, 6:15 a.m.

11 - Friday, April 6, 4:15 p.m.

12 - Saturday, April 7, 10 a.m. (scrimmage)

13 - Tuesday, April 10, 6:15 a.m.

14 - Thursday, April 12, 6:15 a.m.

Friday, April 13, Lift-A-Bulldog

15 - Saturday, April 14, 10 a.m. (Junior Day)

Saturday, April 14, 1 p.m. (Garnet and Blue spring game)

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