Grambling State University’s head football coach Doug Williams said there are things that needed to be corrected before they take on the University of Louisiana at Monroe (0-1) this Saturday at Malone Stadium in Monroe.
“There is a lot of things we have to fix because there is a lot of things that didn’t go right,” said Williams based on their recent 23-9 loss to the Alabama A&M Bulldogs in their season opener. “I don’t think it’s one primary thing that we need to work on. As far as the team is concerned, we have to focus on all facets, offense, defense, and special teams.”
Coach Williams also said he saw some things that he was impressed with, and if it’s one thing he was impressed by it had to be the defense.
In the loss in Robinson Stadium, the defense made key plays and key stops.
Grambling (0-1) received the ball first and on the first play of the game, starting from their own 37-yard line, junior running back Juwan Martin was hit by defensive linemen David Dagrin who forced a fumble. Defensive back Derrick Harris from Alabama A&M recovered it on Grambling’s 31.
Despite the Bulldogs having great field position, the G-Men held them to a scoreless drive stopping them on fourth- and- 10.
The defense also helped Grambling score their first touchdown.
At the beginning of the fourth quarter, sophomore defensive back Nicholas Peoples intercepted A&M’s freshman quarterback Brandon Wells pass and returned the ball 29 yards to the Bulldog’s 11-yard line.
Two plays later, on second-and-17, Tigers junior backup quarterback completed a 14-yard pass to junior receiver Anthony Magee. Subsequently, backup red-shirt sophomore running back Jeremy Runner rushed in a four yard touchdown. Although Runner didn’t start against Alabama A&M, his play led him to replace Martin in the starting line up against ULM.
“Nothing is promised here,” Williams said. “If someone is doing well that’s what you go with.”
In the loss, the game was a defensive slugfest through out the first half. The Bulldogs’ first points came on a safety after the Tigers’ sophomore running back Cedric Skinner was tackled in the end zone, which made the score 2-0.
Again at the 6:09 mark of the second, A&M began their drive at the G-Men’s 33-yardline.
The Bulldogs’ Wells was 2-of-2 on the drive for 21 yards while running backs Terrance Pride, Brand Eldemire, Barrington Scott combined rushed for 20 yards. The Bull Dogs added on to their lead by making the score 9-0.
Grambling answered with a field goal to make the score 9-3.
The Bulldogs responded quickly with score of their own. Wells went 4-of-6 for 42 yards and a touchdown pass to Toriono Upshaw putting them up 16-3 at half time.
After the half, the Bulldogs started their drive from their own 22 -yard line and drove 78 yards for their final touchdown to put them up 23-3 off a pass from Wells to Montauri Smith.
Well finished 15-for-28 for 187 yards one interception and one touchdown.
Runner tightened the gap with a late rushing touchdown to make the final score 23-9.
G-Men starting quarterback, D.J. Williams, was injured in the fourth resulting in backup Johnathan Williams getting reps. D.J. Williams will return to the starting line up Saturday against ULM. Kickoff time is set for 6.p.m.