South Carolina State suffered their first conference loss of the season, 27-14 to the Wildcats of Bethune-Cookman Saturday at O.C Dawson Stadium.
"It's a tough loss, but when you get knocked down you have to get back on your feet," said SC State head coach Buddy Pough. "We will see now if we are the type of team worthy of bouncing back."
South Carolina State jumped out to a quick 14-0 advantage on a 5-yard run by senior running back Asheton Jordan at the 9:15 mark in the first quarter. Sophomore running back Jalen "Scoot" Simmons scored the Bulldogs second touchdown of the quarter on a 3-yard punch with 6:18 left.
Bethune-Cookman struck early in the second quarter on a fumble recovery in the end zone by Tyrone Bouie to cut the lead 14-7 at the 13:55 mark. Junior running back Isidore Jackson's 4-yard scamp tied the game 14-14 with 7:23 left before the first-half. The Wildcats struck again on a 28-yard field goal by Sven Hurd with less than 2:01 left in the half.
BC-U took a 17-14 lead into halftime over the SC State.
The Wildcats poured things on when Hurd connected on his second field goal on the night, hitting a 23-yarder with 9:46 left in the third quarter. Senior Rodney Scott's 3-yard run sealed the 27-14 victory for Bethune-Cookman over SC State.
Penalties (13-79 yards) hurt the Bulldogs down the stretch, while costly turnovers with two fumbles on special teams and two interceptions by redshirt-junior quarterback Richard Cue put SC State behind late in the contest.
Pough stated, "I am a positive guy and it's important that to keep my team positive. We had miscues, too many but now we have to find a way to lift ourselves up. My hat is off to Bethune Cookman they came back."
Junior linebacker Joe Thomas finished with a game-high 11 tackles, one sack, and 3 TFL. Senior defensive back Jakar Hamilton and sophomore Justin Hughes finished second with seven tackles each on the night.
SC State will return to action on next Saturday when they travel to Tucson, AZ to take on the Wildcats of Arizona on a non-conference matchup. Kick-off is set for 7:30 p.m. (CT).