The fifth annual MEAC/SWAC Challenge featuring the South Carolina State Bulldogs and Grambling State Tigers has had all the pre-game hype one could ask for. For the past year, many have had a hard time understanding how Grambling captured the Sheridan Black College National Title in 2008. Though South Carolina State finished the season ranking higher in the USA Today
Top 25 National Poll (they finished 13th while Grambling was 24th in 2008) Grambling still managed to come out on top.
That alone was a major engine in building the pre-game hype. However, with the recent uploading of a YouTube video, the hype may have just gotten a little bigger.
The video for the most part is narrated by Malcolm Long, the Bulldogs starting quarterback, but it features interviews from players, students, faculty and staff. The most controversial comment was made by DB Dominique Ellis, a transfer from North Carolina State, who seems to be convinced that the Bulldogs will come out victorious. Ellis stated, “We’re ready. Malcolm will throw for about 500 or 600 yards, Will Ford will run for about 300 yards and I predict we will win 56-0.”
Those are strong words against any team, particularly a Rod Broadway led Grambling defense.
The Tigers allowed a shade under 14 points a game last season, which was third best in the nation. Only two opponents in 2008 scored more than 30 points in a game and one was Nevada, a FBS program. Grambling led all teams in the football championship subdivision in turnovers forced and ranked 7th nationally in total defense.
While the video has been pulled from YouTube, and another one was published omitting the comment from Ellis, the damage has clearly been done. Grambling learned of it on Sunday and word spread on campus like wildfire. When asked what he thought about the video, SWAC Preseason Defensive player of the year Christian Anthony said, “We won’t talk trash, we’re going to do all of our talking on the field.”
Usually teams don’t need any bulletin board material for a game this big, however, SCSU fans can only hope for two things: (1) Ellis didn’t awake a sleeping giant and (2) that his teammates can back up each and everything he predicted.
Whatever the case may be, Sunday’s game has just gotten a little spicier as Ellis’s prediction will either be money in the bank or his check will be declined. Tune in Sunday at 2 p.m. ET on ESPN2 to find out if Ellis’s prediction is good as gold.