The Sports Network
By Craig Haley, FCS Executive Director
DATE & TIME: Saturday, November 27th, 2 p.m. (et).
FACTS & STATS: Site: Louisiana Superdome (65,000) -- New Orleans, Louisiana. Surface: Artificial. Television: NBC. Home Record: Grambling 4-0; Southern 1-4. Away Record: Grambling 2-1; Southern 0-3. Neutral Record: Grambling 2-1; Southern 1-1. Series Record: Southern (30-28). Bayou Classic Record: Tied (18-18). Last Meeting: November 28, 2009 (Grambling, 31-13 at New Orleans, LA). Series Streak: Grambling has won five of the last nine meetings. Conference: Grambling - Southwestern Athletic; Southern - Southwestern Athletic. Sports Network Ranking: Grambling (24); Southern (NR). SBN Ranking: Grambling (4); Southern (NR). HSRN Ranking: Grambling (4); Southern (NR). Coaches: Grambling - Rod Broadway (34-12 at Grambling; 67-23 overall); Southern - Lyvonia "Stump" Mitchell (2-8 at Southern; 10-32 overall).
GAME NOTES: 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.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Grambling State 35, Southern 21.
11/23 17:19:56 ET