In last week’s season opener, South Carolina State jumped all over Georgia State, 33-6. Perhaps, they should have looked at the game tape of the Bethune-Cookman-Alabama State game instead.
ASU took a 21-0 lead over the Wildcats, only to watch helplessly as Bethune-Cookman scored 28 unanswered points. It pointed to B-CU getting Alabama State’s measure.
Saturday evening, the Bulldogs ran out to a quick 14-0 lead only to watch Bethune-Cookman pull out a convincing 27-14 road win in the Hall of Fame Game at Oliver C. Dawson Stadium in Orangeburg.
Despite the victory in the 50th meeting between the two schools (they first played in 1956), the Wildcats (2-0) still trail in the series 31-18-1.
The win did help Bethune-Cookman head coach Brian Jenkins tie Wesley Moore as the fastest B-CU coach to 20 wins. Both men achieved it in their 25th game, though Moore had an easier time with a 48-0 pounding of Alabama A&M.
South Carolina State got on the board first, getting a five-yard scoring run from Asheton Jordan and then a three-yard TD run from Jalen Simmons, both in the first quarter.
After that, though the Bulldogs’ defense did a good job at tamping down the Wildcats, their offense sputtered. Richard Cue, who threw for 300 yards last week at Georgia State, barely managed a fifth of that, getting just 69 yards on eight of 28 completions. As a team, the Bulldogs got just 167 yards on the ground.
Bethune-Cookman wasn’t much better. Against Alabama State, the Wildcats had three players with 100 yards or more on the ground. Against SCSU, B-CU had about half of that yardage (163). Isidore Jackson finished with 81 yards and a touchdown.
Faced with S.C. State’s stifling defense, Perkins turned to some special plays, a grinding ground game and his ever-reliable kicker Sven Hurd.
First, Tyrone Bouie got Bethune-Cookman on the board when he recovered a fumble in the end zone. Jackson followed with a four-yard scoring run and the game was tied 14-all. Hurd kicked a 28-yard field goal to give the Wildcats a 17-14 halftime lead it would not relinquish.
In the third quarter, Hurd increased B-CU’s lead to 20-14 with a 23-yard field goal.
Hurd was 3-for-3 on extra points and hit two of three field goals. For his college career, he has made 44 straight PAT’s and 56 of 58 field goals.
Rodney Scott ended another long drive by Bethune-Cookman with a three-yard scamper and the Wildcats proceeded to run out the clock on the Bulldogs in the fourth quarter.
Stat-wise, neither team lit it up. Jackie Wilson completed 10 of 15 passes for 125 yards for the Wildcats, while Broderick Waters, who took over so brilliantly against Alabama State last week, had just 55 yards on four completions.
Both schools were a combined 7 of 29 on third downs.
The schedule gets considerably tougher for Bethune-Cookman for the next two weeks. The Wildcats face Miami next Saturday. The Hurricanes will be hungry for redemption after getting annihilated by Kansas State, 52-12.
Then, on Sept. 22, Bethune-Cookman hosts currently undefeated Tennessee State. TSU stopped Florida A&M last week and defeated Jackson State, 38-12.
Buddy Pough’s S.C. State Bulldogs have an even tougher schedule as they travel to Tucson to face Arizona Sept. 15. Arizona more than held its own against no. 18 Oklahoma State Saturday.
On Sept. 22, SCSU will be in College Station against Texas A&M, which almost knocked off no. 24 Florida this week.