South Carolina State head football coach Buddy Pough was glad to tell members and guests of the Orangeburg Touchdown Club on Thursday about his team's 27-19 win at conference foe Bethune-Cookman this past Saturday.
"We scored 27 first-half points, and the fast start was really what helped us control the game, even when our defense gave up a few too many big plays as the game went on," Pough said. "But, we did keep them to about 60 yards rushing, which is really good.
"We play North Carolina A&T here this week. They have taken off and gone on to the top of FCS football. As their football program took off, their university also has grown like a weed. They are now the largest of all of the HBCU's (historically black college or university) enrollment-wise."
The NC A&T program that will come to town to play the Bulldogs this week was led to football greatness in recent years by now-retired head coach Rod Broadway, Thursday's guest speaker at the OTC meeting.
Broadway led the Aggies to wins in the 2015 and 2017 Celebration Bowl in Atlanta, the game that matches up the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference champion against the Southwestern Athletic Conference champion in postseason play each year.
Under his guidance, NC A&T won at least a share of the MEAC title in 3 of his final 4 seasons.
"I have a lot of respect for what Buddy has been able to do here at South Carolina State," Broadway said. "When we first came to North Carolina A&T, one of the first things that came to our minds was that, in order to win here and win big, we've got to be able to beat South Carolina State.
"I know they are the Bulldogs, but they were the big dogs in the MEAC then. Buddy had it going here. And I had left Grambling, where we had a couple national championships, and come to A&T where it was empty, and they had gone 9 years without a winning season. They lost 27 in a row and were on probation. We had a lot of roadblocks in our way and knew that we had to build up the program and eventually beat South Carolina State."
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Broadway said the way to turn around a team or a business or a family situation that is on hard times can be simple. And it can even involve the lyrics from a 1974 song by Funkadelic called "Good Thoughts, Bad Thoughts."
"It's all about attitude and work ethic," Broadway said. "If your attitude is right, people will work with you.
"And if you work hard, you will have a chance. It doesn't guarantee success. But, it gives you an opportunity to be successful if you put in the time and put in the work. It's amazing how thoughts control your actions. Good thoughts bring forth good fruit, bad thoughts bring forth bad fruit. That is how you change a football program; you change the way of thinking and you plant those positive seeds. Be positive in everything that you do. Like the song says, be careful of the thought-seeds that you plant in the garden of your mind, for seeds grow after their kind."
Broadway also pointed out that it doesn't take tremendous leaps in effort to take a good team or business to the level of a great team or business most of the time.
"It just takes a little bit more, to go from good to great," he said. "If you take water at 211 degrees, you have hot water.
"But water at 212 degrees is boiling water, and you can put it in any steam engine in the country and it will take you wherever you want to go. But, to be a true champion, you have to be someone who can repeat that performance day in and day out, week in and week out. If you do that, you have a chance to be great and win championships."
But, Broadway pointed out that football, much as in life, the key isn't just trying hard, but rather actually winning.
"We had won our third Southeastern Conference Championship in four years with coach Spurrier at Florida," Broadway recalled. "When we got back to Gainesville, we had a celebration party and the AD was in there.
"He said to one of us coaches, 'I really, really like this coaching staff.' And one of the coaches said back to him, 'would you like us if we didn't win as many championships?' And he said, 'yeah, and I'd miss you, too.'"
Also at Thursday's meeting, two ATI Physical Therapy Players of the Week were recognized. Junior quarterback Seth Tyson of Calhoun Academy was honored as the Offensive Player of the Week, while Calhoun County defensive back Michael Brunson was honored as the Defensive Player of the Week.
Brent Thompson, head football coach at The Citadel, is scheduled to be the guest speaker at the Thursday, Nov. 7 meeting of the Orangeburg Touchdown Club.