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Defense Shines For S.C State in Practice
Monday’s spring practice at Oliver C. Dawson Stadium proved productive in many forms for South Carolina State.
Not only were the Bulldogs able to get in the 2 1/2 hour session before any potential rainfall, the oft-criticized defense had one of its best showings of the spring.
During one goal line drill, the secondary managed to keep the offense out the end zone. Despite still having low numbers on the defensive line, the defense also held its own stopping the run.
“They’re trying to find their way back,” S.C. State head football coach Oliver “Buddy” Pough. “We’re starting to get some of those people back that we had on the shelf with injuries and what not. But yeah, they showed some signs of being okay.”
Safety Markee Hamlin was one of those starters who missed practice time due to injury, and he recorded an interception during the goal line drill.
While the defense is getting healthier as spring practice comes to a close, he’s taking a sagacious approach towards some of his injured offensive players. Quarterback Malcolm Long participated in several passing drills, but his running was limited as he recovers from a pulled hamstring suffered in Saturday’s practice.
Offensive lineman Devon Dawson was also injured Saturday and his status for this week’s Garnet and Blue game is uncertain.
LOOKING AHEAD TO CENTRAL FLORIDA
For Wednesday’s practice, S.C. State is expected to turn its focus towards season-opening opponent Central Florida. The two teams have already exchanged game films from last season, although Pough said the Bulldogs’ actual preparation for the Knights will not take place until a week prior to the Aug. 30 contest.
Central Florida will complete its spring practice today after holding its annual spring game at Bright House Networks Stadium this past Saturday. The UCF squad won 16-7 as redshirt freshman Joe Weatherford completed 7 of 15 passes for 148 yards, including a 32-yard touchdown pass to Rocky Ross.
Redshirt freshman running back Ronnie Weaver had 45 yards to lead a UCF team looking to replace All-American Kevin Smith.
Senior Cory Hogue and redshirt freshman Omar Hansbrough led the UCF and Knights’ defensive efforts with six tackles a piece. Sophomore linebacker Derrick Hallman posted a 39-yard interception return and also had two sacks and five tackles.
Remembering Jamacia Jackson
Pough arrived at practice Monday carrying a heavy heart after hearing the news Monday morning of the untimely passing of former University of South Carolina running back Jamacia Jackson.
The Associated Press reported the 26-year-old Sumter native was found unresponsive at his girlfriend’s residence. The cause of death was not immediately known on Monday.
Pough, who recruited Jackson to USC back in 2000 when he was the Gamecocks’ running backs coach, expressed shock with the news and spoke with one of his aunts to express his condolences.
“Jamacia was just always just a nice, fun-loving guy and I just remember him as always having something good to say about everybody,” Pough said. “He was just a neat person and we’re going to miss him.”
Defense shines for S.C State in practice
By Thomas Grant Jr., T& Senior Sports Writer