Junior running back Asheton Jordan rushed for a career-high 226 yards on 22 carries and two touchdowns to lead South Carolina State (3-3 overall, 3-1 MEAC) to a 49-38 victory over North Carolina Central (1-4, 0-2 MEAC) on Saturday at Oliver C. Dawson.
"First off, I didn't think our defense would give up 38 points, said SC State head coach Buddy Pough." "They took it to us and we were very lucky that they had the turnovers and we got a score off both."
Redshirt sophomore quarterback Richard Cue made the most of his first career start completing 15-of-22 for 171 yards and two touchdowns. He is also rushed 92 yards on 17 carries on the day. Cue replaced starting quarterback Derrick Wiley who suffered a knee injury against Norfolk State on last week.
Pough stated about Cue, "I was very proud of his poise ad demeanor today. He did a good job in holding things together and made some very big plays."
Despite, the victory the Bulldogs allowed 474 yards against their defense with 315 coming in the air.
SC State jumped out to quick 14-3 lead in the first quarter off a 31-yard pass from Cue to Thomas Williams to give the Bulldogs a 7-0 lead at the 13:22 mark. NCCU's Oleg Parent kicked a 34-yard field goal to put the Eagles on the board 7-3. Jordan's 4-yard punch put the Bulldogs ahead 14-3 with 4:51 left in the first quarter. NCCU would answer on a 4-yard run by Gary Douglas to close out the quarter and pull within a touchdown 14-10.
The Eagles took the lead for the first time in the game 24-21 on a 7-yard toss from quarterback Michael Johnson to Geovonie Irvine with 0:09 seconds left in the first-half. North Carolina Central closed out the half with a 24-21 lead.
"My locker room speech at half was easy," stated Pough. "I told my guys if we don't go out and get after these guys, they are going to beat us and we were mad."
The turning point in the game came off a fumble recovery by Steven Murphy, that resulted in a 28-yard touchdown return to start the third quarter to give SC State a 28-21 lead. Cue connected once again on a 42-yard touchdown pass to freshman wide receiver Julius Pendergrass at the 9:04 mark in the third.
Idreis Augustus pulled with Eagles within four, 35-31 on an 18-yard run with 0:10 seconds left in the third quarter. A pair of touchdown runs by Richard Cue on a 2-yd scamper and Jalen "Scoot "Simmons on a 4-yard punch late in the fourth quarter secured the 49-38 victory for the Bulldogs.
Despite, the loss NCCU's Michael Johnson led the air attack completing 29-of-47 for 315 yards and two touchdowns. Redshirt junior Geovonie Irvine led all receivers with nine catches for 132 yards for the Eagles.
The Bulldogs defense was spearhead by senior Donovan Richard with 15 tackles, 12 solo, while Brandon Outlaw led the Eagles with 11. SC State finished the day with 525 yards total offense.
South Carolina State celebrated "Homecoming 2011" in front a crowd of 22,181 alums and fans.
Next up SC State will host Georgia State in a non-conference matchup Saturday. Kick-off is set for 1:30 p.m.