If firing Doug Williams and hiring Broderick Fobbs gave fans an indication of a “new era” for Grambling State University football, then Saturday’s spring Black and Gold game proved otherwise.
In the low scoring game played in the Eddie G. Robinson Memorial Stadium, the Black team, which consists of the Tigers’ second-team offense and first-team defense, defeated the Gold team 9-0.
“Offensively, we had too many turnovers,” Fobbs said. “But when you’ve only been practicing for nine day’s that’s what’s expected. We want to be able to take care of the ball, limit the mistakes and move the football down field because we’ve got to get the ball in the endzone and we’ve got to score points.”
Besides facing much off-field adversity, offensive struggles were problematic for the G-Men all of last year.
In last year’s season, Grambling ranked seventh in scoring offense with 19.6 points per game and they ranked eighth in total offense averaging 322 yards per game.
On Saturday, the only bright spot from Grambling’s offense came from red shirt freshman quarterback from Rancho Cucamongo, Calif., Stephen Johnson.
Johnson led the Tigers’ only scoring drive on the opening possession of the game. Johnson drove the ball 72-yards down the field resulting in a seven-yard rushing touchdown by Jestin Kelly.
Johnson completed 21-of-28 passes for 308 yards. Kelly rushed for 41 yards and 25 receiving yards.
Quarterbacks D.J. Williams, who started for the Gold game, and Johnathan Williams, who finished as last year’s starter, split time on Saturday.
Neither quarterback on the Gold team outplayed the freshman on the Black team. Johnathan completed 4-of-8 passes for 29 yards. He did throw a 65-yard pass to Chester Rogers that would have resulted in a touchdown, but a holding penalty brought the play back. Johnathan also displayed nifty scrambling moves but because of the quarterback no contact, every time he was touched, he was called down.
D.J. completed 9-of-16 passes for 51 yards, one interception and one batted down pass.
Although D.J. started with the first team, Fobbs still hasn’t named a starter yet.
“We’re just going to keep letting all three (quarterbacks) battle it out and see who comes out on top as we start the season,” said Coach Fobbs.
There were some bright points for the G-Men. Fobbs said he was impressed with was the teams’ defense. The Black team counted for a safety, batted passes, numerous sacks, monstrous tackles and most importantly, they didn’t allow any points.
One thing Fobbs stressed was the fact that he only practiced with the team for nine days and he is ready to get back to the “drawing board” to make corrections. He said, “It’s only been nine days, and we will get better.”