By T. Scott Boatright
HOUSTON — It was all about pressure for the Grambling State Tigers football team Saturday night as they faced Houston at TDECU Stadium.
Grambling had plenty of pressure to contend with facing a FBS opponent for a second-straight week after falling 37-0 last weekend at Southern Mississippi.
And pressure played a role for the Tigers, both good and bad, as they lost to Houston 45-0 on Saturday.
The bad pressure came from a Cougars defense that sacked GSU quarterback Aldon Clark three times in the contest and held the Tigers to 102 yards of total offense.
But maybe the biggest bright spot for the G-Men also involved pressure, as Grambling sacked Houston quarterbacks three times.
The Cougars didn’t pounce on the Tigers right off the bat. Houston led 7-0 after the first quarter and 21-0 at halftime.
But Houston pulled away for good in the third quarter, scoring 21 points in that stanza.
The G-Men have not scored in eight quarters and have been shut out twice in a season for the first time since 1976, when GSU lost the season opener 24-0 to Alcorn State and the season finale against Prairie View, but only because that game against the Panthers was forfeited.
That Prairie View forfeit stemmed from the 1975 season when Grambling inadvertently double-scheduled games on October 4 against the Panthers and Oregon State and opted to play OSU, leaving Prairie View idle. Grambling told Prairie View of the scheduling problem in the spring and tried to reschedule the game with Prairie View for Nov. 22 of 1975, but the negotiations fell through. On Nov. 26, the Southwestern Athletic Conference assessed a loss against Grambling’s conference record, declaring the October 4 game against Prairie View to be a forfeit.
The SWAC ruled that Grambling had to forfeit both the 1975 and 1976 Prairie View games as a result.
Following Saturday night’s game against Houston, GSU head coach Broderick Fobbs was mindful of the fact that his team was coming off two straight losses to FBS foes with hints that he’s ready to get back to Historically Black College and Universities action next week against Prairie View at the State Fair Classic at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas.
“Tonight we played a very good Houston football team,” Fobbs said. “We played well early on, but when you are playing good teams, you can’t make mistakes. We need to eliminate these mistakes, which will help us be a better football team. We look forward to having a good week of practice and stepping into Southwestern Athletic Conference play next week.”
Aldon Clark went the distance at quarterback for GSU and went 4-of-12 passing for 49 yards while adding 15 rushing yards on nine carries.
Grambling’s Darqueze Brutton rushed for 18 yards on nine carries while CJ Russell totaled another 18 yards on 10 rushes.
Greg Clark led the G-Men with 37 receiving yards and was one of five G-Men with one catch each.
Defensively, Blake Thomas topped the G-Men with five tackles, including half a sack.
GSU punter Garrett Urban had a busy night, punting 12 times for an average of 35.2 yards per boot with a long of 50 and four attempts downed inside the Houston 20-yard line.
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