Grambling State is simply better than Alcorn State.

That’s why the Tigers are going to win the SWAC championship and play in the Celebration Bowl against North Carolina A&T on Dec. 19. inside the soon-to-be defunct Georgia Dome.


The Braves will not repeat.

Instead of trying to play the role of football expert (I have at least three more credit hours to complete before earning that distinction) and present a bunch of numbers or worn cliches or keys that will decide the outcome of Saturday’s game in Houston, I’ll just get to the point.

I could tell you that Alcorn State might have a chance to win because Braves boast the No.1 defense in the SWAC. I could provide a graph or two about how Alcorn State led the SWAC in rushing this season behind the combination of quarterback Lenorris Footman and running Darryan Ragsdale. I could throw in some stat highlighting that Alcorn State’s defense had only given up seven touchdown passes during the regular season.

None of that matters.

I, like most who follow SWAC football, have watched the Tigers and Braves play a time or 10 when the games are on ESPN3.

After getting off to an 0-2 start with a defense that could not stop a junior high school offense, Grambling got seemingly better in all most every facet of the game to roll unbeaten through SWAC play.

Johnathan Williams, who started last season as the Tigers’ Cardale Jones before rising to stardom, was clearly the best player in the SWAC this season, completing 58.8 percent of his passes for 2,148 yards, 24 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.

With a player performing to the level that Williams has all season, especially at quarterback, he can (and for the most part has) mask any deficiencies plaguing the team. We saw this during several games this season, including the 35-34 win at Alcorn State on Oct.17. that brought tears of joy to the eyes of Broderick Fobbs.

Williams, who was recently named SWAC Offensive Player of the Year, is the reason the Tigers are 8-0 in conference play and will be holding up the trophy.

While Alcorn State has been good this season, they were not the 2014 Alcorn State good. The defense still performed at high level as mentioned previously, but the offense has been wildly inconsistent and reckless, losing 24 fumbles and doing just enough in the passing game to get by.

Oh, and neither John Gibbs Jr. — before he suffered an injury or his replacement Footman — can actually pull off that thing called the forward pass with much consistency.  If Footman gets the bulk of the snaps against Grambling, Jay Hopson will be trying to win with a QB who only completes 40 percent of his passes.  FORTY. PERCENT.

That’s what we call a bad matchup in around the way, especially with his opposite number being able to stress defenses with his arm and legs.

Advantage, Grambling.

This is the point of the column where we get to the coaches. Hopson vs. Fobbs.

Both men have taken their respective programs from worst to the apex of the conference amid unforeseen challenges. For Hopson, it was not being able to recruit that first year.

For Fobbs, it was coming into a situation where their was a lack of sufficient athletic training facilities, post-workout nutrition, and more importantly football players.

But ya’ll already knew that. There were press conferences and ESPN special reports to confirm it.

Enter into awkward transition

Having gone through a championship run just a year ago gives Hopson what would appear to be an edge in experience. That counts for something, I suppose. But that didn’t matter much at all in 2014 when Hopson was the rook matching coach-y decisions on the sidelines with Southern’s Dawson Odums.

In the end, Fobbs has something Hopson doesn’t.

Fobbs is “G.” He said so himself.

He represents the “G.”

Eddie Robinson’s middle name starts with a “G.”

All of the helmets Grambling wear feature the familiar “G.”

The “G” has mystical powers that helps Grambling wins football games. That will be the case Saturday.


What: SWAC Championship

When: Saturday, 3 p.m. (central time)

Where: NRG Stadium, Houston, Texas

Television: ESPNU

About The Author

Kendrick Marshall

Editor for HBCU Sports, award-winning journalist, and a graduate of Jackson State University.

19 Responses

  1. Eric

    Opinions are just like buttholes..everyone has one just as the case of this article. Please be on standby when you are proven wrong. Then again you did attend that school sitting at home.

    Reply
  2. K.

    “Graduate of Jackson State University”. Ahhh that explains it.
    Hopefully, there will be a follow up article explaining what the bereavement procedures are for SWAC Tigers in general. As a JSU alum, I’m sure you’d have some tips to offer Grambling on how to mourn gracefully…specifically after getting tossed to and fro by Alcorn State on repeated occassions. It’s taking you all some time, but slowly and surely the SWAC will learn not to doubt those Braves.
    Signed,

    A proud member of BRAVENATION.

    Reply
  3. Kaarma

    Now what was that you rambled about Grumbling?

    Back to back… Back to back…!

    Grambling didn’t even step on the field. Lmao

    Reply
  4. Marcus

    Welp…so much for that prediction. Hope y’all kept the receipts for them plane tickets! #BraveNation

    Reply
  5. Joseph

    As a Alumni of Alcorn State C/O 09 I must say this article was poorly written and showed clear Bias with that being said I hope yesterday when you were checking out that thrashing that was put on Grambling you immediately opened up your little laptop and began writing an apology. Don’t you feel like the biggest Idiot in the world right now. Hope you didn’t get a non refundable ticket. #BraveNation

    Reply
    • Kendrick Marshall
      Kendrick Marshall

      I wanna thank Alcorn for the blowout. Made my job of making deadline a lot easier. lol.

      Reply
  6. Savage

    So where is the follow up…someone should be really embarrassed and feel really stupid…. #AlcornAlumni

    Reply
  7. Tahelia

    Thanks for the laughs, Kendrick! Seriosly, it takes guts to stick your neck out there and be so hilariously, embarrassingly mistaken! I also enjoyed the fact that you ended up having to write the article that announced just how wrong you were. Still, like my fellow Alcornites say, Grambling absolutely CAN buy that ticket–and sit in the stands to watch Alcorn play North Carolina A&T. SWAC Back to Back!

    Reply
    • Kendrick Marshall
      Kendrick Marshall

      If I predicted Alcorn to win and they’d lost, I would have had to write about Grambling winning the championship game. Sorta part of the gig. lol

      Reply
  8. Sidney

    Ok Kendrick Marshall
    What say you now? Not only did Alcorn win, they blew away Grambling. They didn’t even show up. So anxious to hear you comments now.

    Reply
  9. CMAC

    This has to be the funniest article on HBCU Sports this year. ALCORN 49 gsu21 !!! This shit is so damn funny !!!! I think I’ll smoke a fat ass Asylum and sip on some Monkey Shoulders to commend the Braves cause they did that shit !!! Gotta give ’em their props.

    Reply
  10. CMAC

    This is fukkin hilarious !!!! Funniest article on HBCU Sports for 2015. I think I’ll smoke a fat ass Asylum and sip on some Monkey Shoulders to commend the Braves. Gotta give em their props !!!!

    Reply

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