Even though Grambling State has lost its last four games and the Tigers find themselves in last place in the Southwestern Athletic Conference Western Division at 1-4, head coach Doug Williams believes his team is very much in the thick of things midway through the regular season.
“It’s (the season) not over.” a defiant Williams said Monday. “Being 1-4 is something that we are not used to. But we have six more games to play.”
The last time Grambling got off to such a poor start was in 2006. That year the team finished the 3-8.
Part of the reason for Grambling’s struggles through five games has been inconsistent play in the fourth quarter.
“We need to petition the (SWAC) and the NCAA to have games played three quarters,” said Williams jokingly. “Over the last three weeks the fourth quarter has been a bummer for us. For some reason we make most of our blunders and mistakes in the fourth quarter.”
The head coach was spot on with his analysis.
In the State Fair Classic loss to Prairie View Grambling was outscored 21-13 in the final quarter. Previous defeats to Alabama State and Louisiana Monroe the Tigers were outscored 14-0. Even in their opening season win versus Alcorn State, Grambling was blanked in the fourth quarter. The only game Grambling wasn’t outdone at the end of regulation was in a home loss to Alabama A&M.
For the season Grambling has been outscored by their opponents 62-34 in the fourth quarter.
With Grambling’s next game not until October 15 against Concordia College (AL), the Tigers will get a head start on salvaging their season.
“We gotta change this week,” he said.
* Grambling quarterback D.J. Williams has been hampered with a turf toe for the last few weeks which prompted Coach Williams to give an opportunity to Frank Rivers, who went 10-for-21 with a 195 yards and a touchdown pass against the Prairie View A&M. Williams’ injury was such a concern for the coaching staff that in the event Rivers had been ineffective or had to leave the game due to injury, third stringer Jonathan Williams would have received extended snaps.
* Williams said the bye week will give him an chance to allow both quarterbacks to get extra reps in practice.
“Both (Williams and Rivers) will get reps and we will go from there,” Williams said