Highly anticipated Bayou Classic returns after 500+ days as Grambling State University preps for final contest
Posted By: Reggie Culpepper on April 15, 2021 |
By: Nazir Kebe/Habtom Keleta-GSU Sports Info.
Tigers look to end season on high note on Saturday against Jags in Shreveport
On Saturday, April 17, 2021, the Grambling State Tigers look to seek redemption against the Southern Jaguars in the Shreveport rendition of the 47th annual Bayou Classic at Independence Stadium. The G-Men have won three of the last five battles against its Southwestern Athletic Conference rival, but recently dropped the last two meetings against the Jags. It will be 504 days from the last Bayou Classic, but this game hopes to be the high point of this chaotic COVID-19 spring football season.
After missing its last two games for a quarantine period due to positive tests found through the rigorous testing protocol mandated by the NCAA, Grambling head coach Broderick Fobbs stated that he is "looking forward to the opportunity to getting back on the field", since the COVID shutdown. With it being nearly over a month since the Tigers last took the field for competition (March 20 vs. UAPB), Fobbs stated that, "the kids the most important thing to [him]", but they will be prepared to play this Saturday.
Grambling is currently ranked sixth in the SWAC on offense, averaging 366 yards per game, while Southern ranks third with 408. Furthermore, the Tigers passing attack ranks fourth in the conference (241.3 ypg.) while its opponent sits at eighth in the SWAC at 202.3.
On the defensive side of the ball, GSU is ranked ninth, allowing 427.3 yards per game while SU gives up an average of 344.3 yards per game, placing them third in the conference. The Tigers defense is led by playmaker redshirt junior defensive back Kenan Fontenot, who leads the team with 12 solo tackles.
The Lake Charles native also has 21 total tackles, one interception and one forced fumble, all tied for team-highs.
Fellow redshirt junior defensive back Devanir Martin is tied for second on the team with nine solo tackles and leads the team with four pass breakups.
In addition, junior defensive back Reyondous Estes has made several plays in the backfield for the Tigers, including a fumble recovery and an interception.
Another strong defensive player for Grambling this season has been junior linebacker Bryan Powell, who is also tied with a team-high 21 total tackles and leads the team with 4.5 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks.
The Atlanta native has a forced fumble and a fumble recovery (both tied for team-highs) on the season and has been a difference-maker in the interior along with redshirt junior defensive lineman Wesley Green, sophomore defensive lineman Sundiata Anderson and redshirt sophomore linebacker Lewis Matthews.
Redshirt senior linebacker Treylan Dunn and redshirt sophomore defensive back Quincy Mitchell are both currently tied for second on the defensive unit in total tackles with 20 each, while Mitchell leads the team with two fumble recoveries on the season.
On the offensive side, Grambling will be looking toward Elijah Walker to lead the G-Men in the season finale.
alker currently has a QBR of 117.71 and a passing touchdown, along with one rushing touchdown. This will be Walker's second start in this unprecedented spring season for the G-Men as he looks to guide the Tigers to its first victory of the year.
In the backfield, local redshirt freshman CJ Russell from Arcadia, La. leads the team with 114 net yards on the ground with an average of 4.2 yards per carry, including one rushing touchdown.
Fellow Tigers running back and redshirt sophomore Keilon Elder currently is just one net rushing yard shy (113) of teammate Russell and has a team-high two rushing touchdowns to go along with one passing touchdown on the year. He is also responsible for Grambling's longest run of the season as he scampered for a 39-yard carry in the conference game against UAPB.
In the receiving corps, graduate student Darrell Clark leads the team in both receptions (16) and reception yards (171) and is tied for a team-high with one touchdown catch on the year.
Tune in to watch the Grambling State Tigers take on the Southern Jaguars in SWAC action on Saturday, April 17 at 1:30 p.m. at Independence Stadium in Shreveport, La., for the 47th annual Bayou Classic. The game will also be televised on NBC Sports.
For more information regarding the 47th annual Bayou Classic, including where to purchase tickets, go to https://mybayouclassic.com/
The GSU athletics ticket office will be open until 2 p.m. on Friday, April 16 for those prefer purchasing tickets in person. The ticket office is located at the Fredrick C. Hobdy Assembly Center (basketball arena) on the campus of GSU.
Go to https://www.sbfunguide.com/event/47th-annu... to view the official Shreveport/Bossier City fun guide for the 47th annual Bayou Classic.
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