SSU Looking Locally To Rebuild Program
Savannah State head football coach Earnest Wilson III is looking to turn around the Tigers program. Wilson and staff hope to sign as many as 14 players on National Signing Day in February but also hope to bring in a total of about 25 new players. Wilson said the team has needs at every position. He cites a lack of depth as one reason for last season’s 1-11 record. SSU lost a dozen seniors from the 2013 squad and Wilson hopes to replace them with a mixture of high school recruits and junior college transfers.
Wilson has been making his rounds in Savannah, the coastal empire and the state of Georgia and is finding out that there is some interest in the program, despite the fact the Tigers have not had a winning record since 1998. At least a dozen players have given verbal commitments to play for SSU next season and at least 10 of those are from the coastal empire. The coaching staff is set to have recruits visit campus the last three weekends in January.
Smith Finishes 10th In Rice Award Voting
Savannah State linebacker Marquis Smith finished 10th in voting for the Jerry Rice Award. The award honors the top FCS freshman in the nation. Eastern Washington wide receiver Cooper Kupp won the award after getting 557 votes. Smith, who had 68 votes, led SSU in tackles with 124. He also had 13 tackles for losses, 2 fumble recoveries, 1 sack and 1 interception.
Lady Tigers Down Charleston Southern
Ezinne Kalu scored 19 points to lead Savannah State to a 72-63 road win over Charleston Southern on December 19. SSU, who never trailed, led by as many as a dozen points in the first half and led 41-32 at intermission. A 3-pointer by Kalu gave SSU (5-5) a 65-51 cushion with 7:25 remaining but the Bucs rallied to pull within six with just over a minute left but could get no closer. Kalu also had six steals and five assists for SSU. Freshman Tiyonda Davis had 10 points and 10 rebounds for SSU while Jasmine Norman and Jasmine Kirkland each chipped in nine points.
Tigers Lose Again
A crowd of 3.370 filled Tiger Arena on December 19 to watch Savannah State play the Miami Hurricanes, in the Tigers final home game of 2013. SSU had a early lead but the Hurricanes broke the game open with a 20-7 run and never looked back in a 68-51 win over SSU. Freshman Jeremiah Hill kept the Tigers in the contest by drilling NBArange 3-pointers but the visitors from Florida finished the first half with a 13-3 run to take a 37-20 lead into halftime.
Miami built a 24 point lead in the second period but the Tigers, fueled by a 17-5 run, rallied to cut their deficit to 55-43 with just over six minutes left but got no closer. Hill, who made four 3-pointers, led the Tigers with 14 points. Things won’t get any easy for SSU (2-10) with road games at Florida and Baylor before starting MEAC play in Jan. against Maryland-Eastern Shore.