Losing on Saturday nights has become repetitive for Grambling’s football team. The same goes for the Prairie View A&M football squad.
Week after week, game after game, the Tigers’ and the Panthers’ records continuously deteriorate. Combined, both teams hold a record of 0-9; Grambling being (0-4, 0-3 SWAC) and Prairie View being (0-5, 0-3 SWAC).
Grambling’s current four game losing streak is nothing new. The Tigers faced similar adversity before.
Last year after the Tigers defeated Alcorn State in its season opener, Grambling dropped its next four.
The interesting fact is on Saturday against Alabama A&M, a rematch of last year’s SWAC championship game, when the Tigers again failed to register a win, it marked one of the worse starts to the season in Grambling’s history.
According to cfreference.net, a website that reveals the records of numerous college football programs, the Tigers’ 0-4 start to the season is their worse start since 1941, back in the late Eddie Robinson’s first year of coaching the G-Men.
“Execution, sustaining and finishing” are the facets that head coach Doug Williams credits to the teams staggering start.
From watching game film, Williams implied that his team is not frustrated, but rather disappointed in the way it has performed on game days.
“When you show them the tape, they all (the G-Men) get disgusted in knowing that if I had of did this, or if I had of did that, things would’ve been different,” said Williams at Tuesday’s press conference.
“Eventually they’re going to get to the point where they’re going to do it right.”
Ignoring GSU’s loss to TCU, Williams notes that the Tigers’ chances at the championship game is not over. Their other three losses came against Alcorn State, Alabama State and Alabama A&M, all SWAC East opponents.
The G-Men must sweep games against SWAC East opponent, starting with Prairie View, to increase the Tigers’ chances at another ring.
Other teams in the SWAC West include Arkansas-Pine Bluff (3-2, 2-1 SWAC), the current division leader, Southern (2-2, 1-1 SWAC), and Texas Southern (1-4, 1-2 SWAC).
“That’s the beauty of this whole thing we (Grambling) still got a chance,” Williams continued during Tuesday’s press conference. “That’s the part you sell to the players, that we still have a chance to end up playing somebody we’ve already played in the championship game. To be honest with you, that’s a reason to go out and work hard.”
Junior linebacker Nick Powell believes in Williams’ philosophy that the team must work hard to be able to eturn to Birmingham, Ala., home of the SWAC championship game.
“The team has one common goal and that’s to beat (PVAMU), no other options,” said Powell. “We are in a similar situation to last season, no one is rooting for us and we find ourselves with only each other to depend on.
“We have a good team, we just have to finish.”
The Tigers were near victory twice but fell short by only one point in each game. Many blame Grambling’s kicking woes for their losses, Alcorn State (22-21) and Alabama State (19-18).
Williams and his coaching staff recruited Grambling club soccer player Phares Wabo as the new kicker. Wabo eliminates the conversation that kicking woes as the primary reason for losses. He made two extra points and a 21-yard field goal Saturday.
Last year when the G-Men lost 31-23 to the Panthers in the State Fair Classic, each team entered the game with at least one win on its record.
This year both teams have a goose egg in the wins column, therefore, when the clock strikes zero, either Grambling or Prairie View will walk out of Cotton Bowl with a W on its record.
State Fair Classic Activities:
8 a.m. Gulf Tournament at Cedar Crest Gulf Course (Organized by Radio-One). Info: 972-331-5400
7 p.m./9:45 p.m. Jazz Series with Larry Carlton and Avery Sunshine at Bishop Arts Theater Center. Info: 214-948-0716 8 p.m. PVAMU Scholarship Banquet at the Marriott Hotel. Info: 972-758-8781
8 a.m.Williams Chicken High School Battle of the Bands (Sponsored by GSU Alumni and Lancaster H.S). Info: 214-674-1136
2 p.m. Pre-Game Concert with Elle Varner & The Rebirth Brass Band at Chevy Stage. 3:50 p.m. Eddie Robinson 408 Victory Parade starting at the Chevy Sage.6 p.m. Kickoff.