The “naysayers,” as Coach Doug Williams would describe, are the people who talk negative about the Tigers.
They mostly blamed starting quarterback D.J. Williams for the continuous losing on the season and they wanted to see Frank Rivers running the show.
Due to Williams’ hip injury in the second quarter of the G-Men’s victory over the University of Virginia Lynchburg, Rivers ran the show and what did the “naysayers” get a chance to see, another loss Saturday against Texas Southern University.
Despite Rivers finishing the game completing 19 of 33 passes for 293 yards and three touchdowns, Grambling dropped its seventh game of the season, 23-20 to TSU.
“You got to give Frank [Rivers] a little of credit for hitting those guys,” said coach Williams at his Monday morning press conference.
Saturday in the BBVA Compass Stadium, four different players made receptions for Grambling and three of the four finished with 90 plus yards and one touchdown.
Not a bad night for Rivers, who in limited time this season has six touchdown passes compared to Williams’ four.
But it was a bad night for the G-Men.
Coach Williams added, “But we got the same results and it doesn’t matter how many rushing yards you get. How many passing yards you get. If you don’t come away with the “W” it doesn’t matter.”
The only time the G-Men came with “the W” this season was in their 22-7 victory over the University of Virginia of Lynchburg.
In that win, both Williams and Rivers took snaps.
When Williams was out completely against TSU, the Tigers still lost.
“It’s nothing different, he [Rivers] just come in and do his job,” said Musa Mahmud, who caught a season high five passes for a season high 96 yards against TSU.
“We respond the same with either D.J. [Williams] or Frank at quarterback.” Mahmud was also the recipient of a 60-yard bomb for a touchdown that gave the Tigers a 20-14 lead early in the third quarter.
Rivers’ first start of the season wasn’t all joy. In the fourth quarter at the 11:58 mark, Rivers made a costly mistake. He threw a pass that was intercepted by Eric Brown, who returned it for a 21-yard touchdown, which tied the game at 20.
At that point of the game, Grambling’s momentum tarnished.
On the subsequent drive, the Tigers committed a holding penalty, which brought back freshman Ka’Jandre Domino’s 69-yard kick return. Texas Southern went on to kick a field goal with 4:14 left in the game that gave them a 23-20 lead and sealed its second victory on the season.
Coach Williams also said at the press conference that the quarterback isn’t at fault for the G-Men’s unfortunate season, but he and the rest of coaching staff are to blamed.
“At the end of the day it lies within the coaches, and especially the head coach,” Williams said. “We got to find a way to do a better job of coaching the young guys up.”
He also went on to say that Williams will return and will remain the starting quarterback.
Next the G-Men will take on Jackson State University. Kickoff is 2 p.m. in Eddie Robinson Stadium.