Saturday’s sluggish offensive outing in Arlington left Grambling football coach Broderick Fobbs at a loss for words.
A day later, it left him without offensive coordinator Mark Orlando.
The nearly 68-year-old, much-traveled playcaller confirmed his sudden resignation after reports began surfacing Sunday evening, telling Cory Diaz of the Monroe News-Star, “I just thought this was in the best interest of Grambling State and myself.
“Fobbs deserves a better performance from his offensive coordinator. I love coach Fobbs and I love Grambling,” Orlando told Diaz.
The decision followed a 17-10 loss to Prairie View A&M (2-0), whose head coach is former Tigers OC Eric Dooley. In a defensive struggle that Fobbs forecast in last Monday’s media Zoom call, Grambling forced four turnovers but didn’t create much yardage (308 total, just 105 rushing) or points.
Afterward, speaking to media, Fobbs was almost speechless.
“I don’t know what to say,” he admitted.
“We’re not playing with much confidence. I’ve got to figure out what’s going on. It felt like we were just out there. We’ve got to do something (different),” he said postgame.
Starting quarterback Geramy Hickbottom, whose opening day performance a week earlier against Jackson State drew praise from Fobbs, was ineffective, intercepted twice and sacked four times while
Grambling managed only a third-quarter field goal in his seven series on the field. He was benched for Elijah Walker (7-9, 90 yards) near the end of the third quarter with the Tigers trailing 17-3.
“I was expecting (Hickbottom) to build on that (first game),” said Fobbs. “He just didn’t have it (today). Elijah made some plays to get us back in the game. Somebody’s got to solidify this ballclub (at quarterback).”
Walker hit a 38-yard pass on his second play and scored on a 1-yard keeper one snap later, closing the gap to seven points entering the final period. In the closing minutes, the Tigers moved 40 yards to the Panthers’ 9 where Walker’s second-down toss to an open receiver wasn’t precise and was bobbled and dropped as tight end Dorrell James was falling to the ground. Two snaps later, Prairie View sacked Walker to take over with 3:03 remaining, and ran out the clock on a pair of first downs.
“We have to figure this out and figure it out quickly, because this league is too good to just go through the motions,” said Fobbs, whose 0-2 G-Men come home Saturday to meet UAPB.
BASKETBALL: The hoops seasons ended Friday for both Grambling teams with losses to the regular-season champions in the Southwestern Athletic Conference Tournament at Birmingham.
The G-Men (12-12) bowed to Prairie View 75-63 Friday night, but the Panthers were bounced in the final Saturday by rival Texas Southern for the league’s NCAA Tournament bid. The Lady Tigers (10-10) were no match for Jackson State, falling 65-49 to the eventual tourney winner.
BASEBALL: Wilbert Ellis Field at R.W.E. Jones Park on the Grambling campus will be a sweet sight Wednesday (6 p.m. vs. Jackson State) for the winless Tigers, who have played all 11 games on the road. Over the weekend, they were swept by Florida A&M, dropping a 10-8 battle Sunday after falling 7-4 on Friday and 3-1 Saturday in the Ralph Garr/Bill Lucas Baseball Classic presented by the Atlanta Braves in Lawrenceville, Georgia.
SOCCER: The Lady Tigers rose to 3-1-1 in SWAC play after blasting visiting Alcorn State 5-2 on Friday. Their Sunday home game was postponed. They visit Southern next Friday.
SOFTBALL: Grambling hosts Louisiana Tech Tuesday afternoon at 3, following a weekend off.
Grambling football photo – courtesy GSUTigers.com