South Carolina State Head Coach Buddy Pough Says Jackson State Is Better Than They Were Under Deion Sanders

The South Carolina State Bulldogs and Jackson State Tigers are set to face off in this year’s annual MEAC/SWAC Challenge down in Atlanta, Georgia.

This will be the first matchup of the legendary HBCU programs since their 2021 Celebration Bowl battle won by the Bulldogs in a huge upset (31-10).

That game also featured Pro Football Hall of Famer Deion Sanders at the helm for the Tigers. 

With Sanders now in Colorado leading the Buffaloes, the attention on this game isn’t as high profile, but the intensity hasn’t waned one bit.

In fact, South Carolina State head coach Buddy Pough believes this Tigers team under first-year coach and Jackson State legend T.C. Taylor will present new challenges for his Bulldogs who are looking for redemption after a down season of 3-8. 

Pough Says This Tigers Team Is Better Than Coach Prime Version

In 2021, the Tigers came into the game heavily favored and Pough used that as a rallying cry for his Bulldogs, who won by three scores. Now, with Sanders gone, Pough believes this version under Taylor will be better. 

“This T.C. Taylor team right now will be a better football team than that football team,” Pough told Black Enterprise. “Will be a much better football team. We’ve had some experience against him in the past and it concerns us that we haven’t done all that well against the teams that he’s been a part of in the past.”

Pough Still Taking Jabs At Deion Sanders

Pretty strong statement by Pough, when you consider the Tigers went 11-1 prior to the matchup and undefeated in SWAC play.

One has to wonder if Pough is being serious or is he taking a subtle jab at Coach Prime, who wasn’t the most-liked amongst his peers at the FCS HBCU-level of football. But led the Tigers to back-to-back SWAC championships and a 27-6 record during his tenure. 

Pough says they went into the 2021 game thinking they couldn’t matchup with the Tigers, but soon found out they could, and the rest is history. 

“We know that they’ll get after us in ways that that team didn’t,” Pough said. 

Taylor Will Lead Differently Than Coach Prime

With Taylor at the helm, the Tigers have someone who won’t be on social media much, and he won’t match any of the bravado that Coach Prime brought. But what he will do is lead the Tigers day in and day out. Why? 

Because being a former player, he has a real love for the program. 

Last week in an interview with Taylor said this. 

“God told me I would be in this seat. I didn’t necessarily know it would be at Jackson State.” 

Kickoff is Saturday at 7:30 PM on ABC. 

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