If you mention football in South Carolina to most fans outside the Palmetto State, the chances are good that the response you receive will contain a reference to the Tigers or Gamecocks. There is plenty of football history outside of Clemson and Columbia, though, and a lot of that history rests in Orangeburg. The university counts two graduates among the members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame – the only school in South Carolina to claim even one — in Rams legend Deacon Jones and former Giants linebacker Harry Carson. Fellow Hall of Famer Marion Motley started his college career at South Carolina State before transferring to Nevada. The university has won over ten MEAC (Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference) titles in its history.
The home of all of this success – since 1955, anyway – is Oliver C. Dawson Stadium. This 22,000-seat on-campus facility is the main attraction in the university’s athletics complex. The stadium shows its age in places, but the school’s football history is quite obvious, both intentionally and unintentionally so.