The Grambling State Tigers will host their first home game of the 2006 season on Saturday against Jackson State University. Jackson defeated Southern University last weekend in overtime 31-28, while Grambling lost to Arkansas Pine Bluff 33-28.
When JSU has the ball:
Jackson enters Saturdays contest undefeated in conference play and the Tigers are off to a hot start on the heels of a respectable offensive attack. Jackson ranks third in the conference in scoring at 27 ppg.
Jimmy Oliver is a dual threat quarterback who was rated as one of the top junior college quarterbacks in the nation last season. He is third in total offense in SWAC at 196 yards a game, and has rushed for 313 yards. His favorite target, Jaymar Johnson, had 7 receptions for 199 yards and 2 touchdowns in the win over Southern.
Jackson State’s offensive line has had an impressive showing so far this season, only giving up a total of 4 sacks on the season. Grambling has the worst rushing defense in the conference, giving up 210 yards a game. In last week’s 33-28 defeat to UAPB, Grambling gave up 246 yards on the ground. Pine Bluff alone had two 100-yard backs in the game. Throughout the season
The match up between GSU’s front seven and Jackson’s offensive line will dictate the outcome of this game. If Grambling is able to stuff the run, and put pressure on Oliver, Grambling could be looking at a victory on Saturday.
Advantage: Jackson State
When GSU has the ball:
Brandon Landers has been an adequate quarterback for Grambling this season. Landers threw for 300 yards and 2 touchdowns in last weekends defeat. Landers, ranks first in passing yards and total offense in the conference and is fourth in passing efficiency. Clyde Edwards and Ab Kuuan’s performance last week was admirable. Edwards led Grambling with 10 receptions for 145 yards and two touchdowns.
GSU has the No. 1 rated offense in SWAC. The G-Men average 34 ppg. Jackson State has the second best defense in the conference. JSU allows 17 ppg and 249 yards a game. JSU has 10 sacks on the season and gives up the fewest first downs in the SWAC. Daniel Brooks has made an immediate impact since transferring from the University of Tennessee.
Brooks leads the team in tackles and had 8 in the victory over Southern. Carlton Brown leads the conference in interceptions with four. Will Carlton Brown be enough to stay with Grambling’s receiving core? I don’t think so.
Last year Grambling defeated Jackson 52-21 and Jackson will have revenge on their mind. Jackson also gave up 20 points to NAIA Paul Quinn earlier this season. Grambling first home game of the season should give them the spark that they so desperately need.
Prediction: Jackson State 27, GSU 28
Nick Loved is a senior mass communication student from Michigan.