The SWAC title game appears to be a mismatch.
Grambling State, the current Western Division champions, haven’t lost to a conference foe in the last calendar year.
While that opponent happened to be Alcorn State in the 2015 SWAC Championship, both teams return to Houston in vastly different outfits.
Alcorn State (5-5) is a far from the juggernaut that romped through the conference to capture back-to-back SWAC crowns and the Black College National Championship thanks to injury and attrition.
Grambling (10-1) on the other hand, looks stronger than ever. Broderick Fobbs and Co. have dispatched each opponent (with the exception of a loss to FBS Arizona) by at least 19 points, including a 43-18 whitewashing of Alcorn State on Sept. 24.
After Grambling humbled previously unbeaten Southern in the Bayou Classic 52-30, the Tigers are presumably the odds-on favorite to win the SWAC crown going away.
Is there a path to victory for Alcorn State?
There might be.
What the Braves do best on offense is run the ball.
Over its last four games, Alcorn State has tallied at least 255 yards on the ground per outing.
De’Lance Turner has rushed for 618 yards and 4 touchdowns this season. Backup QB Noah Johnson, who played in nine games, rushed for 10 TDs on just 75 attempts. Lenorris Footman, limited to six games this season, scored six rushing touchdowns.
Though Grambling held Alcorn to 168 yards during their regular season meeting, and boasts the No. 1 ranked rushing defense in the SWAC, the Tigers allowed a season-high 234 yards on 9 yards a carry to Southern’s Lenard Tillery last week.
The Jaguars were unable to make the most of Tillery’s sterling performance because the offensive failed to sustain drives mixed in with a pair of costly turnovers.
But if Alcorn can lean on the run, control the clock to limit Grambling offensive possessions, the Braves might have a chance to pull off the upset in Houston.