On the heels of Sacramento State beating Colorado (and Oregon State last season), Youngstown State beating Pitt, North Dakota State beating Colorado State, and all the other upsets and near-misses in games between FCS and FBS teams, I was a little nervous about my alma mater, Texas A&M, hosting FCS opponent South Carolina State on Sept. 22.
Who is South Carolina State, and should the Aggies be concerned?
The Bulldogs are 1-2 coming into the game against A&M having started the season with a thorough trouncing of Georgia State, 33-6. As it turns out, though, everyone seems to trounce Georgia State (0-3).
Their next game saw them fall to Bethune-Cookman (2-1) by a score of 27-14, and last week, the Bulldogs went out to Tucson for the first of their two money games this season and got hammered by Arizona, 56-0. In that game against the Wildcats, South Carolina State picked up 154 total yards and 8 first downs on offense. They allowed 689 total yards and 43 first downs on defense.
I'll spare you the gory details, but the Bulldogs rank near the bottom of the FCS in virtually every offensive category. As you might expect after that Arizona beatdown, they don't rank very well in defensive statistics, either.
Their quarterback, Richard Cue, isn't having a particularly good season so far. He currently sports a 47.6 completion percentage, a 51.8 passer rating, 3 passing touchdowns, 5 interceptions, and 3 sacks. He can run a little bit, though, averaging 43 rushing yards per game, so the Aggies will have to watch for that.
Cue doubles as the team's leading rusher, but they also have a running back, Jalen Simmons, who has collected 126 rushing yards on the season, to Cue's 129.
The Bulldogs' main receivers seem to be Caleb Davis and Lennel Elmore, with each of them averaging about 50 yards of receiving per game. Wide receiver Tyler McDonald leads the team in receiving touchdowns with two.
All told, nothing about South Carolina State jumps out at me as being dangerous. Indiana beat them last year, 38-21, and that was the Hoosiers' only win of the season. That's also about as close as the Bulldogs have ever come to upsetting a FBS team--at least as far back as Yahoo! Sports records. Most of the time, they just line up, take their licks and their paycheck, and go back home.
Texas A&M should be sporting a 2-1 record heading into the Arkansas game on Sept. 29.
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