Pearl Reports: South Carolina State Wins 2021 Cricket Celebration Bowl – Pre & Post Game Thoughts – ESPN Charlotte (espnclt.com)
2021 Cricket Celebration Bowl – Game Notes
South Carolina State University – 31
Jackson State University – 10
– 3:10 – (We discuss the key playmakers from each team and their potential impact on the game.)
– 3:11 – 6:10 (Pre-game interview with Coach Buddy Pough of SCSU.)
– 6:15 – 9:34 (A select clip from Coach Prime’s, JSU pre-game press conference.)
– 11:15 – 16:00 (Halftime takes)
– 16:25 – 24:00 (Third qtr takes, includes how SCSU was able to dominate the quarter and we also highlight HBCU athletes best path to playing at the NFL level.)
– 24:25 (Final thoughts of the game and Big Co provides insight on how SCSU was able to earn the victory.)
SCSU Postgame Press Conference – Players
“On being the underdog with all the talk on Jackson State all week”
Well at first, they said we weren’t going to score 21 points (on them) offensively, so we had to come out and prove them wrong…another thing I’d say is that we had a little free time to go around Atlanta. I was in the mall with my teammates and the people were saying, “so ya’ll the team that’s playing against Jackson State.” Like they had never heard of South Carolina State. So that was big to us because we already knew we were the underdog.”
On bouncing back after starting the season 1-4 and winning the last 5 of 6 games
We dealt with adversity all year. We had some injuries that set us back as a team, we had some missed days due to situations but just being able to deal with adversity was the reason we were able to be here today.
On turning point and focusing and leading offense after starting off slow…
I would just say getting all the jitters out and just going and playing football. At first it was just all the bright lights and afterwards it was just letting everything come to me.
On getting a win for Coach Pough after his future was in doubt just years ago…
It means a lot. South Carolina State has never been to the Celebration Bowl so got the opportunity to bring it home and do it for Coach Pough and the City of Orangeburg
It feels good to get Coach Pough a red jacket
As I’m speaking right now my phone is vibrating like crazy. The town of Lamar (SC) I thank them. They have supported me my whole career. So just to give them an opportunity to have them see me play on this big stage in the Falcons stadium, it’s a blessing
On starting to win matchups vs JSU secondary after a slow start
I just had to play more physical. I wasn’t getting any calls. They were grabbing, pushing, pulling, so I knew I had to stop complaining and just get more physical with them.
On holding JSU’s offense to 19 yards rushing (A Celebration Bowl record)
Just holding each other accountable. We knew they had a high-powered offense just understanding our assignments, trusting ourselves, trusting one another and playing for the man that’s next to you.
On defense creating turnovers helping offense to put numbers on the board
We always count on our defense a lot. Because when they make plays, they give us a short field which allows us to punch it in quicker instead of having to drive the whole field, so we have to applaud them.
JSU Postgame Press Conference – Players
PLAYERS – Shedeur Sanders / Keonte Hampton
What was the biggest problem their defense presented today?
SS: I would say me not seeing it, me making the right reads and getting ball out of my hands.
What does a game like this mean to you the way that your career ended?
KH: I didn’t really want to end it this way, but we made it this far. Hats off to South Carolina State, they outplayed us and made more plays.
What does HBCU mean to your personally and the Celebration Bowl?
SS: I feel like the Celebration Bowl is a great experience. Throughout the week, I felt like we had good activities, the fact that we didn’t have to sit there all day. It was good, to see all our people in this stadium, the atmosphere was crazy. That is how HBCU football should be.
Can you elaborate about HBCUs being now and not the past?
SS: I feel like that, look at the players we just signed. The next time you see us there will be more players like us coming to HBCUs and to Jackson State.
KH: We are just getting started. Coach Prime is changing the culture, just stay tuned.
Many people talk about your maturity, can you talk about your mental process moving forward?
SS: I am really going to go back over the film and watch throughout the whole season I wasn’t successful on. Work on that and strive to get better on that. Tom Brady has lost the Super Bowl before; this just really helps us go back and lock in and re-evaluate everything we did during the season.
Talk to some of the high school kids who didn’t sign and tell them about the HBCU culture.
KH: HBCUs are family. They all care about you. Alumni, fans, teachers, they all care about you. We are all one. That was a big thing before I signed with Jackson State, people were telling me to sign JUCO. But I prayed about it, and I am glad I signed and grateful to have been here.
Do you believe in the concept that a loss is a best thing that could have happened to prepare you for the future?
SS: Not necessarily. That is life, you are not always going to be successful all day, every day. Sometimes that just happens. They just had a good game plan, and they just stopped us offensively and that can’t happen.