The first week of the college football season was also the first game action for the four new head coaches who took over SWAC programs this past offseason.
There were some impressive performances, a little bit of a mix bag, and outcomes that should be a cause for concern. Realistically, we won’t be able to fully assess these coaches until later in the season. But it does not hurt to judge the first game sample size either.
Rick Comegy: C
Mississippi Valley State on paper was seemingly more talented than a University of Faith outfit that was routed by Edward Waters the previous week, but offensive struggles in the first half kept the Glory Eagles in the game before MVSU was able to pull away late in the second half. The defense played great as they had over the last few years under Karl Morgan. The offense, though, was conservative to say the least. Maybe the weather had something do with the limited offense production. It was not what some had gotten accustomed to witnessing from a Comegy-coached team.
Harold Jackson: B-
Jackson State needed to strike on a desperate Hail Mary to beat a lowly Florida A&M team that won all of three games last season even though they dominated on both sides of the ball for much of the game. On five red zone trips, Jackson State struggled to score one touchdown, settled for three field goals and turned it over once. I thought Jackson handled the tempo well and was decisive with decision-making, especially on JSU’s final drive choosing to nix a 61-yard field goal attempt to try the Hail Mary instead. Better execution and Jackson State wins going away.
Broderick Fobbs: D
Even though Grambling got down big early against Lamar, the Tigers were able to make somewhat of a game of it in the second half. While Fobbs can be credited for help keeping his team in the game, his decision to stick with junior quarterback D.J. Williams even though he went 12-for-22, was sacked three times and only was able to muster 74 yards in the air. Fobbs should have abandoned the two-quarterback system. It might not have resulted in a win, but it would have at least given his team a shot.
James Spady: F
After the offense failed to score early on a couple of possessions against North Carolina A&T, Alabama A&M seemingly quit on national TV. The special teams did not cover kicks well. The defense had no answer for Tarik Cohen and Kwashaun Quick. The offense? Ugh. The unit didn’t reach the end zone until the game was decided. There just didn’t seem to be a plan after the first quarter.