Tenacious defense and a strong running game have long been the calling card of South Carolina State football. Saturday, the Bulldogs used those two staples to defeat MEAC rival North Carolina A&T 13-0 in the Atlanta Football Classic at the Georgia Dome and continue their mastery of the Aggies under Coach Buddy Pough.
The Bulldogs are now 12-1 against North Carolina A&T with Pough at the helm, including 3-0 at the Georgia Dome. More importantly, the victory enabled the Bulldogs (4-2, 2-0 MEAC) to remain unbeaten in the conference and keep pace with reigning champion Bethune-Cookman.
The loss was the first in the conference for North Carolina A&T (4-2, 1-1 MEAC). North Carolina A&T hangs its hat on defense and running the ball as well. With that in mind, Pough had anticipated a tight, low-scoring contest.
“I knew it would be a defensive battle and I didn’t think we could shut them out,” Pough said. “But the fact that we shut them out was awfully gratifying. Those guys did a fantastic job.”
North Carolina A&T is the highest scoring team in the MEAC, averaging 31.8 points a game. However, South Carolina State’s defense didn’t allow the Aggies to untracked. The Bulldogs held North Carolina A&T to just 156 total yards and forced the Aggies to commit three turnovers.
North Carolina A&T’s longest play from scrimmage was a 17-yard pass from quarterback Hassan Plugh to Desmond Lawrence. The Bulldogs did a masterful job of containing North Carolina A&T’s running game. The Aggies average 210 yards a game on the ground. But they only mustered 43 against the Bulldogs and averaged 1.2 yards on 35 attempts.
Tarik Cohen, the Aggies’ star running back that led the MEAC in rushing last season with 1,148, had 49 yards on 21 carries. South Carolina State, which rushed for 197 yards, was efficient on offense, particularly on third down. The Bulldogs were 9-for-18 on third down and 1-for-1 on fourth down conversions.
HBCU Football Wrap-Up Week 6: Who Let The Dogs Out? was originally published on blackamericaweb.com