Sports With Walter Moore

Will Savannah State Win A Football Game This Year?

A burning question among Savannah State football fans is will the Tigers win a game this season.

In Erik Raeburn’s first season, SSU surprised many by winning three games in 2016. With a few breaks the team could have finished with a 5-5 record. Many thought that the team finally hired the right coach.

Going into the current season, optimism was high that Savannah State could win as many as six games.

However, injuries and a lack of depth forced the staff to insert freshmen into the starting lineup.

With four games remaining, the Tigers best chance for a win should be Delaware State (Nov. 4) followed by Norfolk State (Oct. 28), South Carolina State (Nov. 18) and North Carolina A&T (Nov. 11).

The Delaware State and South Carolina State games will be played in Savannah while Norfolk State and North Carolina State will be on the road.

SSU has not won a road game since beating North Carolina Central in 2011.

Delaware State and Norfolk State pulled upsets last weekend with DSU getting their first win of the season with a 17-14 victory over South Carolina State while Norfolk State handed North Carolina Central their first conference loss of the year with a 28-21 win over the Eagles. North Carolina A&T, the top team in the conference with a 5-0 mark, slipped past Bethune-Cookman, 24-20.

SSU is the only team in the MEAC without a win this season.

Delaware State, like SSU is similar and rank near or at the bottom of the conference in statistics. The Tigers have never beaten DSU in their four previous meetings.

Beating Norfolk State is also a possibility. The Tigers upended NSU last season and could do it again this year.

South Carolina State is not the Bulldog team of the past but you don’t want to underestimate this team. SCSU is struggling with a 1-4 MEAC record but they are also bigger, faster and strong than Savannah State. The Tigers upset South Carolina State in 2001 and could do it again this season.

It is a chance SSU could win a game this year but there is also some uncertainly. Dating back to 1953, Savannah State has also gone winless in 1953, 1963, 1976, 2003, 2005 and 2014.

SSU’s offensive issues lie with the offensive line and their inability to provide adequate pass protection. This unit, which returned four starters from last season, has given up a conference leading 36 sacks. The run game has also suffered.

The secondary, who came into the season loaded with experience, has struggled and the defensive unit as a whole has been inconsistent.

The team is playing a lot of young players on both sides of the pigskin and with the season almost over, the inexperience excuse is no longer an acceptable excuse.

The coach has to take some responsibility in the performance of the squad. Good coaches don’t throw players under the bus each week.

SSU Booster Meeting

The Savannah State University Community Booster Club will meet on October 25 at 7 p.m. in the Multipurpose Room inside of Tiger Arena. For more information, call 912-271-0077.

SSU Baseball Do Well In Fall Scrimmages

The Savannah State baseball team won three of their four scrimmages played this fall. The Tigers split a double header with East Georgia College on September 30, losing the first game 7-6 but winning the nightcap 11-3. In the first game, EGC scored three times in the top of the seventh inning to get the win. SSU, who stranded eight runners in the contest, but got good offensive production from Bryce Luken and Khalyd Cox who both hit home runs. In the second game, Tyler Robinson struck out five batters in two innings while Thomas Harper, Freddie Landers, Kyle Gerdts and Turner Davis all hit home runs.

The Tigers swept a double-header from USC-Salkehatchie on October 14, winning 2-0 and 5-1. In the opener, Cox had two hits for SSU while Trevor McKenna pitched two innings and struck out five and Justin Washington struck out the side in his only inning on the mound. In the second game, Savannah State did all their scoring in the first inning. Luken hit a two-run homer, Landers and Larry Simon both had a RBI single and Cox had a RBI single.

SIAC Wrap-Up

Tuskegee and Fort Valley State remained undefeated in the SIAC with wins on October 21. Tuskegee remains atop the western division of the conference with a 26-21 road win over Kentucky State. Also in the west, Miles topped Lane 23-13. Over in the east, FVSU beat Central State 24-19, Clark Atlanta won a 44-36 homecoming thriller against Albany State while Benedict spoiled Morehoue’s homecoming by defeating the Maroon Tigers 29-26 in a game that took two overtimes.

Charleston Southern 52 SSU 27

Savannah State put up a good fight but they did not have enough weapons in a 52-27 non-conference setback from Charleston Southern in a game played on October 21 at Buccaneer Field.

SSU (0-7) led 17- 14 early in the second quarter, after a touchdown run by Jaylen McCloud but the Bucs tied the game at 17 midway in the quarter and took the lead for good with just over five minutes left before intermission.

D’Vonn Gibbons threw for 162 yards and two touchdowns while Derek Kirkland caught four passes for 36 yards and a touchdown. Donald Rutledge had 13 tackles while Tyqueze Johnson had 10. The Tiger running game could not get on track, gaining only 24 yards while the offensive line surrendered four sacks.

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