(STATS) - After averaging only 21 points and under 300 yards per game last season, South Carolina State needs its offense to improve this season if the Bulldogs are going to be serious contenders in the MEAC title race.
The Bulldogs tied for third place last year, but they finished three games behind champion North Carolina Central and their 5-6 overall record matched the worst in coach Buddy Pough's first 15 seasons.
The offense should get better just by facing SCSU's veteran defense on a daily basis. On Saturday, the offensive players hope to impress the coaching staff when the Bulldogs conclude spring practice with their annual Garnet and Blue game at Oliver C. Dawson Stadium in Orangeburg.
"The offense shows potential and we are young in certain positions, which means we have to mature really quickly, especially on the offensive line," Pough said." We just have to continue to work hard to see who we think has a chance to help this team moving forward."
Quarterback Caleb York transferred after his sophomore season, and either Mykal Moody, a converted wide receiver who excelled in his season finale start against Bethune-Cookman, or Dewann Ford could lead the unit.
No matter what, the Bulldogs will rely heavily on a defense that returns eight starters, including standout linebackers Darius Leonard, the MEAC's 2016 defensive player of the year, and Dayshawn Taylor.
Pough is 117-57 all-time at SCSU, just 12 victories shy of becoming the winningest coach in program history.