After a momentum-building win the previous week in their homecoming game against North Carolina A&T, the Howard Bison was looking to go over .500 for the first time this season in a home affair with the South Carolina State Bulldogs on Oct. 29 at Greene Stadium.

But a slow start buried the Bison in a 17-0 first quarter hole as the Bulldogs went on to shut out the Bison 31-0 in front of a disappointed and cold crowd on a rainy, dreary afternoon at Howard’s Senior Day and final home game of the season.

“This was the worst game we have played all season,” first-year Howard head coach Gary Harrell told reporters after the game. (South Carolina) State has been a great program for years in this conference and you just cannot give them the kind of opportunities we gave them early in the game.”

Rain, sleet and wind helped the Bison commit a series of first half miscues. A botched snap and a fumble highlighted Howard’s first two possessions, setting the Bulldogs up with short fields and easy scoring opportunities. By the time Howard settled in on offense, the weather had gotten to freshman signal caller Greg McGhee, whose hands reportedly numbed up due to the freezing weather, according to Harrell. “Greg’s hand numbed up and he struggled all day,” Harrell revealed to Bison reporters. “He did not have a good game today.”

McGhee struggled for most of the day, completing just four of 15 passes for 45 yards and one interception. McGhee’s ineffectiveness made the Bison one dimensional, making it easy for the Bulldogs to pile up and stuff the run game while not worrying about Howard’s aerial attack.

South Carolina State freshman quarterback Richard Cue didn’t fare any better, completing just three of seven passes for 27 yards. But Cue threw for a touchdown and his team never committed a turnover, allowing the first-year signal caller to navigate the entire game with a comfortable lead.

Howard (4-5, 3-4 MEAC) will travel to Hampton next weekend for the battle for the mantle of the “Real HU” at 1:00 p.m. on Nov. 5.


Stephen D. Riley

Special to the AFRO