Thursday, December 1, 2016

SWAC 2016 Football Championship Notes

Grambling State vs. Alcorn State
NRG Stadium | Houston, Texas| Dec. 3

Alcorn State News and Notes:
- Alcorn State seeks to become just the second team to win three straight SWAC Champinship games. The only team to do it thus far? the 1999-2001 Grambling State Tigers.

- Quarterback Noah Johnson has accounted for 12 touchdowns in his past three games. This stretch was highlighted by an near record-breaking performance when he was responsible for eight total scores -- including seven passing scores -- in Alcorn State’s 61-7 win over Mississippi Valley on Nov. 12.

- Of the SWAC teams that have played in multiple SWAC Championship Games, Alcorn State is the only team that has yet to lose in the contest.

- Alcorn State’s rush attack comes into the game firing on all cylinders, as the Braves have rolled up at least 255 rushing yards or better in each of their last four contests. Alcorn was held to 168 total yards rushing -- its third-lowest output of the year -- during the regular-season meeting with Grambling.

- The Braves’ offense comes to play when the lights are on bright. Alcorn State has averaged 43.5 points per game in the SWAC Championship, which is by far the best such per-game outing in the game’s history. Last year’s performance was one for the record books, as Alcorn set new championship game records for points (49), rushing yards (411) and total offense (613).

- Alcorn State’s nine sacks surrendered ranks them among the top 10 nationally in pass protection. That will be tested by Grambling’s aggressive defense, which ranks fourth in the nation in sacks this season (32).

Grambling State News and Notes:

- Grambling State is the only team in the nation that holds the distinction of fielding a top-5 scoring offense (44.0 PPG; 4th) and top-5 scoring defense (16.4 PPG; 5th).

- Of all the players in FCS that have thrown 25 touchdown passes or more this season, quarterback Devante Kincade’s three interceptions is the least amount thrown by any signal-caller this season. However, two of his picks have come in the last three weeks of the season.

- Location, Location: While no team has made more trips to the big game than Grambling, much of the Tigers’ success in the championship has come against Alabama schools. Grambling is 5-0 in the title game against teams in Alabama, but just 1-2 against teams located in Mississippi, where Alcorn State is based.

- Grambling State gamebreaker Martez Carter appears to be peaking at the right time, as he has rushed for 100 yards or better in each of the Tigers’ last two games. ‘Mr. Excitement’ has averaged 12 yards per carry over that time, and has five total scores and three plays of 60 yards or more.

- Regular-season success isn’t always indicative of how the championship will go, as Grambling State can attest. In the last five seasons, the regular-season winner of the championship matchup is just 2-3 when the title is on the line.

- If Broderick Fobbs’ Tigers are able to down Alcorn State, he will join former GSU coach Rod Broadway as coaches who avenged losses in their first appearance in the title game by winning a rematch of the game in the following season.


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