South Carolina State held its second and final scrimmage of preseason drills Saturday morning on Willie Jeffries Field inside Oliver. C. Dawson Stadium.
The Bulldogs performed as well as expected on both offense and defense, with the offense showing signs of improvement running more than 100 plays in a 2-1/2-hour scrimmage.
Four quarterbacks saw action, with redshirt junior Tyrece Nick leading the charge from the start on a 52-yard pass completion to redshirt freshman Shaquan “Shaq” Davis. Nick connected once again on a 15-yard touchdown strike to senior wide receiver De’Montrez Burroughs.
“Nick is our guy at the moment,” said head coach Buddy Pough. “There are times when he shows signs of greatness and times where he needs to be more consistent. We (coaches) just need to make sure we design what we are doing to fit his needs so he can be successful.”
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Pough also noted, “Redshirt freshman quarterback Corey Fields is pushing Nick every day and he will get a chance to play as well, so don’t be surprised if you see him early on this season. Quincy Hill (Columbia, SC/Spring Valley HS) is talented as well and can do some exciting things for us, so we are expecting good things from those guys.”
Fields made an impact of his own, throwing a 50-yard touchdown bomb to Davis. The Bulldog defense reminded the offense who has the upper hand with jaw-dropping stops, including a 25-yard interception by redshirt freshman Donte Anthony off of Fields for a score.
"Defensively, we are as a good as we have been in at multiple positions in years. We have tremendous talent in the secondary, solid play at the linebacker spot and our defensive front has really been making strides to take on a more leadership role," Pough said.
The Bulldogs spent the early part of the scrimmage turning their focus to special teams, including putting the final touches on punt and kick return installations. Pough and his team closed out the day with their annual “Meet The Players Day.”
South Carolina State fans had a chance to meet this year’s team and coaches, with appearances by the Marching 101 and SCSU cheerleaders sponsored by The S.T.A.T.E Club at Smith-Hammond-Middleton Memorial Center.
SCSU closes out preseason drills in a Monday 9:30 a.m. practice, before turning their attention to the season-opener against Wofford with a 6 p.m. start Aug. 31, at O.C. Dawson Stadium.