Bayou Classic: Grambling State vs. Southern
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
GRAMBLING STATE (8-2, 7-1 SWAC) VS. SOUTHERN (2-8, 1-7)
Kickoff: 2 p.m. Saturday
Facts and Figures - Site: Louisiana Superdome (65,000) - New Orleans, La. Records: Grambling State, 8-2; Southern, 2-8. Television: NBC. Series record: Southern leads, 30-28. Last meeting: Grambling State won, 31-13. Conferences: Grambling State, SWAC; Southern, SWAC. Coaches: Grambling State - Rod Broadway (34-12 in four seasons at Grambling State, 67-23 overall); Southern - Stump Mitchell (2-8 in first season). Sheridan Poll Ranking: Grambling State, 4; Southern, unranked.
What to know: Grambling State and Southern will meet in the 37th annual State Farm Bayou Classic, with Grambling State favored to tighten a hotly contested series that Southern leads, 30-28.
Grambling State's sensational senior Frank Warren needs to rush for 246 yards in his final game to become the SWAC's all-time leading career rusher (Destry Wright had 4,049 yards for Jackson State from 1997-99). Warren is third in the FCS with a 143.1-yard average.
Southern's rush defense is probably strong enough to prevent Warren from setting the SWAC record, but the Jaguars have surrendered a porous 33.4 points per game. Coach Stump Mitchell has found the going rough in his first season, although the Jaguars hung tough with Eastern Division champion Alabama State before falling 21-19 on Nov. 13.
The Jaguars have struggled offensively with quarterbacks McGinty Jeremia and Joseph Dray both completing less than 50 percent of their passes. Wideout Allen Curry (38 receptions for 499 yards and three touchdowns) is their chief threat.
While Warren is Grambling State's offensive leader, linebacker Cliff Exama fuels the defense. His 106 tackles are second-best in the conference and he can disrupt an offense in many ways.
Prediction: Grambling State, 35-21
11/23 17:05:16 ET