Sunday, February 27, 2011

Grambling Tigers 2010 Review

2010 Record: 9-2 (8-1), Tied 1st SWAC West
2010 Post-Season: None
2010 Schedule/Results
Louisiana Tech, L 20-6
Jackson State, W 28-21
@ Prairie View, W 34-17
@ Alabama A&M, W 25-22
Alabama State, W 22-7
Alcorn State, W 38-28
@ Mississippi Valley State, W 35-14
@ Arkansas-Pine Bluff, W 35-25
Concordia, W 35-0
@ Texas Southern, L 41-34
@ Southern, W 38-17

375.3 yards per game

The Tigers had one of their best seasons in recent memory, but it was not because of the passing game. Anthony Carruthers started as a freshman for Grambling, and he made the most of it, I guess. He only passed for 1443 yards in 10 games, and only tossed 7 TDs to 8 picks. Rough go for the youngster, so luckily, the rushing game took everything on the back of Frank Warren. Warren was a beast, and had one of the biggest years of any back in the FCS. Warren rushed for 1478 yards with 18 TDs on the season. If it was going to get done, Warren was going to do it. Warren rushed for 134.4 yards per game, and averaged 6.4 yards per carry. He led the SWAC in rushing. Here's the rub...He's gone now. Someone needs to step up and work it out the way Warren did, and who that is will be anyone's guess. Cornelius Walker, the 2nd leading rusher on the team with 421 yards, is also a senior. There is virtually zero experience on the depth chart behind them. With Carruthers not having a huge season, you would not expect any receivers to have had a big season, but even with limited receptions (34), Kiare Thompson rolled up 761 yards, averaging 22.4 yards per catch. He only scored 3 TDs, however. He too is moving on, so again, who is stepping up in 2011?

344.2 yards allowed per game

The defense only gave up 28 or more points twice. 28 in a win over Alcorn State, and 41 in an unfortunate shootout with Texas Southern that cost Grambling the outright SWAC West title. The Tigers even held Louisiana Tech to just 20 points, but the offense failed to hold up their end in that game, which was Grambling's only other loss.
LB Cliff Exama finished 2nd in the SWAC with 10.6 tackles per game as a junior, while Antonio Leonard finished with 13 TFLs on the season from the line, but nobody else got close to averaging 1 per game on the season. The Tigers can certainly afford to be more aggressive up front, as in the end, Texas Southern had used their dominating defense to take the league.
Desmond Lenard had 9 passes defended in 2011, but nobody was close to his production in the secondary, and he too now is gone. When all was said and done, the best pass defender for the Tigers was Exama, a LB, who led Grambling with 3 picks.


Zoltan Riazzo had a solid season, as he connected on 11 of his 15 FG attempts on the season to finish 2nd in the SWAC. Riazzo will return as a senior in 2011, and will have to be even better, as his leg will be an important cog in the offense with young and inexperienced players in major skill positions. One major issue, is that no punter on this team ranked in the top 9 in punting in the league, which is something that obviously must be rectified in 2011, again due to youth and inepexperience on offense. A good punter may very well save this defense in 2011.


Grambling had a very nice season despite some very obvious shortcomings in 2010. Rod Broadway did a masterful job of holding this team together and working around the strengths and avoiding the pitfalls that were the landmines created by having a young QB. Broadway left on the first train out of town after the season, however, and left for the vacant North Carolina A&T job, definately not an upgrade at this point. Doug Williams will return to his alma mater to coach the Tigers for the second time in 2011, but he will find it tough going after so many key pieces have moved on. UNfortunately, the loss to Texas Southern ruined what was a very nice season.

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