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Know Thy Foe: South Carolina State

Let’s roll through UCF’s schedule with a look at each of the Knights’ opponents, starting with a familiar FCS foe

South Carolina State v Central Florida
South Carolina State last played at UCF in 2018
Photo by Alex Menendez/Getty Images

We’re less than 40 days from the UCF Knights’ hope football opener, and it’s time for us to begin previewing the 2022 season.

We start with a look at all 12 opponents UCF will face, starting with the opener on September 1, when the South Carolina State Bulldogs come to Orlando.

Week 1: South Carolina State Bulldogs

Kickoff: Thursday September 1st, 7 p.m. ET, FBC Mortgage Stadium


Series: 3-0 UCF

Last Meeting: 2018 — UCF won 38-0

Adrian Killins scored twice, and Greg McCrae and Otis Anderson scored a touchdown each in the second game of Josh Heupel’s first season at UCF.

About the Bulldogs

Last Season: 7-5, 5-0 in the MEAC, HBCU National Champions

SC State got off to a rough start in 2021, losing four of their first five, including a 49-3 drubbing at Clemson.

But the Dogs pulled it together, winning all five of their conference games, including a critical 27-24 victory over North Carolina Central that clinched them their 18th MEAC Championship and a berth in the Celebration Bowl, where they would face Deion Sanders and the 11-1 SWAC champion Jackson State Tigers.

In Atlanta, the Bulldogs shocked everyone, blowing out Jackson State 31-10, and winning their fifth HBCU National Championship:

2021 Stats

Category Offense FCS Rank Defense FCS Rank
Category Offense FCS Rank Defense FCS Rank
Rush Yards 138.6 69th 121.8 26th
Pass Yards 206.5 66th 218.2 59th
Total Yards 345.1 75th 340.1 33rd
Points 24.9 63rd 26.2 57th
128 teams in FCS

Key Stat: 25 Turnovers Forced (9th in FCS)

Head Coach: Oliver “Buddy” Pough

Cricket Celebration Bowl - South Carolina State v Jackson State
Head coach Oliver Pough of the South Carolina State Bulldogs with the Celebration Bowl trophy after their 31-10 win over Jackson State
Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

A former offensive lineman, Coach Pough (pronounced “pyoo”) is entering his 21st season, and is the winningest coach in school history, which dates all the way back to 1907. He has won eight MEAC titles, three HBCU National Titles, and four MEAC Coach of the Year awards. His record is 143-80 overall, but 109-38 in the MEAC.

Key Players

#34 Jeblonski Green — DE

RS Sophomore | 6-3, 265 lbs | 2021: 38 tackles, 19.5 TFLs, 3.5 sacks, one interception

Green was named a Senior Bowl HBCU Prospect to Watch this summer, and given his size and knack for causing havoc in the opposing team’s backfield, it’s easy to see why. Dude is a problem:

#2 Corey Fields Jr. — QB

RS Sophomore | 6-0, 188 lbs | 2021: 49.7%, 2310 yards, 18 TD/13 INT, 192 rush yards

Fields provided the bulk of his spark through the air last year for the typically run-heavy Bulldogs. He threw 4 TDs in the Celebration Bowl (on just 12/31 overall).

Other Stuff To Know

  • South Carolina State has been playing football since 1907.
  • The next point South Carolina State scores against UCF will be their first. the Bulldogs have been shut out in all three meetings with the Knights: 38-0 in 2018, 38-0 in 2016, and 17-0 in 2008.
  • Also, South Carolina State has produced four Pro Football Hall of Famers: Browns RB Marion Motley, Steelers DB Donnie Shell, Giants LB Harry Carson, and the most famous of all, Rams DL Deacon Jones.
  • South Carolina State’s band is called the Marching 101, a no-too-subtle reference to the rivalry they have with Florida A&M’s band, the Marching 100.

The Latest on the Bulldogs: