When your back’s against the wall, there’s no place like home.
Although Grambling State’s 16-game home-field win streak was snapped March 6 when Jackson State prevailed 33-28, home is still a very comfortable lair for the Tigers.
An 0-2 start to the six-game spring season has the G-Men desperately seeking success Saturday as Arkansas-Pine Bluff visits Grambling in a Southwestern Athletic Conference matchup.
Kickoff is set for noon at Eddie G. Robinson Stadium.
While coach Broderick Fobbs says the Tigers aren’t in panic mode, the same can’t be said for a segment of the fan base, unaccustomed to an 0-2 start in the SWAC since Fobbs took over the program.
And he’s determined to get things headed in a better direction.
“I’m focused on what it takes so we can be the type team this organization, and Grambling’s alumni, deserve,” he said Monday.
UAPB (1-0), which used three Southern turnovers to great advantage two weeks ago in its only game so far, presents challenges for Grambling.
“They’ve been a thorn in our side in the last two years (a late win in 2019 on the road, and an overtime home victory in 2019 for Grambling),” said Fobbs. “It’s a really good program on the rise. They have dynamic receivers and are very skilled in the secondary. We have our hands full.”
All eyes will be on the Tigers’ offense, which faltered on a goalline fumble with 1:04 left that denied the Tigers a likely win over Jackson State, then could only post 10 points last week against Prairie View, and failed to score on a drive inside the 10 with under four minutes remaining. Offensive coordinator Mark Orlando resigned a day a later, leaving playcalling duties Saturday to Tigers quarterback coach Kendrick Nord.\
How Fobbs and Nord handle the quarterback situation will be a focal point for fans, but whether it’s Geremy Hickbottom or Elijah Walker, Fobbs plans to be “more aggressive” taking shots downfield and looks for more consistent execution offensively.
It is the second and final home game for Grambling, not counting the Bayou Classic in Shreveport to wrap up the season a month from now.
BASEBALL: The Tigers (0-12, 0-3) get their first home weekend against Texas Southern in their first full SWAC series, beginning Friday evening at 6.
A late eruption by visiting Jackson State (11-5) spoiled Wednesday night’s home opener, as JSU went home with a 15-8 win by scoring seven runs in the last two frames, six in the top of the eighth to break open a nailbiter. It was a non-conference matchup.
The G-Men managed only six hits, but one of them was a grand slam by Jahmoi Percival in the third inning, coming on the heels of a solo shot in the first from Jordyn Smith. Joseph Gunn lashed a bases-empty homer in the fifth to knot it at 6-all, but JSU’s big eighth-inning uprising broke it open.
SOFTBALL: Postponements have sidelined the Lady Tigers until next Friday. Their weekend series at Jackson State was shelved after a neighborhood matchup with Louisiana Tech earlier this week was delayed indefinitely.
Photo courtesy of GSUTigers.com