Following 13th ranked (SportsNetwork) Bethune-Cookman’s pivotal 14-3 win over South Carolina State Saturday at Municipal Stadium, I started thinking about the intense battles this matchup has produced in recent history.
Although the Bulldogs lead the series 28-19-1, the Wildcats have won three of the last four meetings and have had some of their most memorable wins in school history versus their conference foes from Orangeburg, SC.
Listed below are the top five games between the Wildcats and Bulldogs.
5. “Suberman” runs wild!–2002
Bethune-Cookman came into the game sporting a 7-0 record and a #11 ranking in the SportsNetwork poll. South Carolina State, in it’s first season under Buddy Pough, was 6-1 and #17th nationally. The main attraction of the day was Wildcats quarterback Allen Suber who rushed for 192 yards and a touchdown en route to a 21-6 defeat of SCSU. The Cats went on to win their third MEAC title.
4. B-CU stuns SCSU in Jenkins’ first season–2010
It was the top ranked offense in FCS (BCU) vs. the top ranked defense in FCS (SCSU). In the press conference leading up to the game, B-CU’s head coach likened the game to a “heavyweight fight” (something we would hear several times when mentioning SCSU). In the end, it was the Wildcats defense that led the charge, limiting SCSU to just 264 yards of total offense. Linebacker Ryan Lewis’ had two interceptions, both of which were in the SCSU redzone to preserve a 14-0 victory over the Bulldogs. The win kept the Cats undefeated and also more importantly, snapped the Bulldogs MEAC record 21 game conference winning streak. The Wildcats would go on to an 10-2 record and their fourth MEAC championship.
3. Bulldog safeties key in win over BCU–2011
SCSU was looking to exact some revenge on BCU after falling to them 14-0 the prior year and having their 21 game conference win streak snapped. The game was an intense see-saw matchup as both teams took turns scoring in the first three quarters. In the fourth, however, the SCSU safeties put their stamp on the game.
Darius Drummond returned a punt deep into BCU territory that resulted in a touchdown . On the ensuing possession, Dominique Ellis intercepted a Jamarr Robinson pass and raced 55 yards untouched for an SCSU touchdown to put the Bulldogs ahead 26-18 with exactly four minutes remaining in the game.
BCU would threaten to score late, driving the ball down to the SCSU 40, but Robinson would throw his second interception of the game, this time to safety Christian Thompson, which preserved the win for the Bulldogs.
2. JaRod Rucker showcases “Air Wyatt” attack–2006
SCSU built a 12-0 lead early on the Wildcats in the 2006 Low Country Classic and looked poised to run away with a victory. BCU head coach Alvin Wyatt then scrapped his patented “Wyattbone” offense and starting quarterback Jimmie Russell and inserted reserve JaRod Rucker.
What ensued in the following three quarters had not been seen since Hawk and JD Hall were under center for the Cats.
Rucker rattled off 45 unanswered points en route to a 45-12 blowout of the Bulldogs. For the game, Rucker was a blistering 22-27 for 367 yards and five touchdowns, tying a school record for most touchdown passes in a game.
1. “The Hawk” spoils SCSU’s homecoming–1984
SCSU had won the previous four Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference titles (80-83) and was looking to add a fifth to their trophy case. It was homecoming in Orangeburg and no one gave the Cats a chance, but behind the arm of career passing leader Bernard Hawk, Bethune-Cookman spoiled South Carolina State’s homecoming a dealt them a crushing 24-23 defeat. Hawk finished the season with 2,772 yards passing and 21 touchdowns, earning the Wildcats their first conference crown.