It didn’t take long for Broderick Fobbs to get things going at Grambling. He took over in 2014 and the team’s record has improved every year since that 7-5 debut.
The Tigers have won 18 straight games in regular season SWAC play and put it all together last year. Grambling finished the season 12-1, with the only loss coming at the hands of FBS foe Arizona.
2016 Grambling Football Season In Review
Grambling was simply dominant throughout the regular season in 2016. The Tigers’ smallest margin of victory was a 19-point win against Texas Southern the week before it faced its biggest rival.
Ole Miss transfer DeVante Kincade was phenomenal last fall. He transferred to Grambling prior to the 2016 season in order to be closer to his ailing mother and was undisputedly the best quarterback in the SWAC. He was selected as the league’s Player of the Year after a season in which he threw for over 3,000 yards and 31 touchdowns.
Martez Carter and Jestin Kelly provided a lot of support on the ground. Carter was electric, averaging 7.7 yards per carry. He was great as a return man, too, logging 15 all-purpose touchdowns and filling up the highlight reel.
The 5-foot-11, 240-pound Kelly was more of a plodder, as he gashed tired defenses late. He found the end zone eight times, but he had a little bit of a fumbling problem and lost carries to Carter as the season progressed.
Grambling’s defense was the best in the SWAC last fall. The Tigers allowed just 4.5 yards per play and opponents found the end zone against them just 21 times, tied for the second-fewest in the FCS. Four different players totaled at least 14 tackles for loss, and this team totally dominated the line of scrimmage.
2017 Grambling Football Season Preview
Kincade is already being talked about as a potential NFL Draft pick. He has seen increased attention from scouts who were impressed by his numbers last season.
This offseason, he has stated that he wants to work on becoming a better passer and not rely on his legs so much. It might be hard for him to match last year’s numbers, though, especially without wide receiver Chad Williams, who was selected in the third round of the NFL Draft after a standout senior season. Kincade will need to find a new No. 1 target.
The good news is that he will still have a top playmaker in Carter, who is a threat to take it the distance any time you put the ball in his hands. He should again lead the team in all-purpose yards. Look for the coaching staff to scheme for additional ways to get the ball in hands now that Williams is gone.
The Tigers might be playing in a lot of shootouts this season. Grambling returns only three starters from last year’s great defense. The rush defense in particular is likely to take a big step back, so Kincade might have to do a lot with his arm to make sure this team gets wins.
2017 Grambling Football Schedule
September 2: Grambling at Tulane
September 9: Grambling vs. Northwestern State
September 16: Grambling vs. Jackson State
September 23: Grambling at Mississippi Valley State
September 30: Grambling vs. Clark
October 7: Grambling vs. Prairie View A&M
October 21: Grambling vs. Alcorn State
October 28: Grambling vs. Texas Southern
November 4: Grambling at Arkansas-Pine Bluff
November 11: Grambling at Alabama State
November 25: Grambling vs. Southern (in New Orleans)
FCS Pick ‘Em Games To Watch
Although the SWAC has a conference championship game and a berth in the relatively new Celebration Bowl, only one game really matters to Grambling every season.
The Bayou Classic pits Grambling against Southern in the most famous rivalry between HBCU schools. Grambling has won the last two affairs and holds a 22-21 series lead. Lately, this has been a pretty high-scoring affair and more of the same should be expected this season. Grambling has a lot more offensive firepower than Southern, though, and should be your play in FCS Pick ‘Em Contests.