South Carolina State hit the field Saturday morning for the first of 25 preseason football practices as the Bulldogs prepare for the 2013 campaign. Approximately 90 players participated in the two hour workout drills.
Bulldog head coach Buddy Pough, who is beginning his 12th season at the helm, said he, and his staff are excited to get off to a great start during fall camp and that day one was your typical first start of camp.
"It's always a little shock of being back and ready to get things going," said Pough. " You have to figure out that the same hard work is out there and you have to prepare yourself to play at the level you want to play at."
"I think it was a little surprise to some of the guys to be pushed has hard starting out. Most of these guys were here with the strength and condition coaches this summer and they got after them pretty good, but they reacted to things pretty well."
Pough said during the fall practices that he and his coaching staff were trying to set a sense of urgency in some of these young guys and returning players to change the atmosphere and turn things around. Most of the Bulldogs workouts will take place in the morning sessions, according to the Bulldog mentor.
Though added, that there were few differences with a few new coaches and assignment changes. He did, however, point out it's a different type of feel from the coaches and players.
"These guys (coaches) are trying to set the pace and the bar high enough at the very beginning," he said. "Its important that we get this thing going so we can get back to our winning tradition that we are use to here at South Carolina State."
With the new additions to the staff with the return of Joe Blackwell as offensive coordinator/offensive line coach and Steve Bird as wide receiver/special teams coach along with new assignment changes, the Bulldogs offense should be much improved this upcoming season.
"To me its like coming home as you speak, "said Blackwell. "I was here before so I know how important it is for us to get that winning tradition back going and establish more of a running game like we use to have back in the day."
The Bulldogs will conduct its second practice Sunday (Aug. 4), beginning at 9:30 a.m. in shorts and helmets, followed by a morning practice on Monday (Aug. 5) at 9:30 in helmets and shells.
SC State open their 12-game 2013 schedule Aug. 31 at home in a 6 p.m. contests against Coastal Carolina in Orangeburg. SC State has four games slated to be televised nationally on ESPN this season. Pough's team was picked to finish second in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference in a preseason poll of head coaches and sports information directors.
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