Opponent Breakdown: Grambling

TCU will host Grambling State on Saturday for their first game of the 2012 season. Who are the standouts to watch for the Tigers? HFB.com breaks it down.

Team: Grambling Tigers

Coach: Doug Williams (7th year; 52-19)

2012 Record: 0-1

Last game: L21-22 to Alcorn State

Kickoff: Saturday, September 8, 6:00pm, Amon G. Carter Stadium, Waco, Texas

TV: FSSW+; DirecTV Ch. 677 (677-1 HD), Dish Network Ch. 447 (9517 HD), AT&T U-Verse Ch. 694 (1694 HD), Verizon Fios Ch. 77 (577 HD)

Radio: WBAP 820 AM, 96.7 FM, KTCU 88.7 FM


Offensive players to watch: QB D.J. Williams, So. (6-5, 200) RB Jeremy Runner, Fr. (5-10, 205) RB Dawrence Roberts, Jr. (5-11, 185) OL Sanford Banks, So. (6-6, 320)
Offensive Statistical Leaders
Passing: Williams; 10-22, 138 yards, 1 INT
Rushing: Roberts; 20 carries, 114 yards,
Receiving: Mahmud; 3 receptions, 85 yards
Scoring: Runner; 6 points

Defensive players to watch:
LB Wade Julian, So. (5-11, 225) LB Jacarde Carter, So. (6-0, 230) DB Cedric Goins, Jr. (6-0, 205) DB Naquan Smith, Sr. (6-1, 200)

Defensive Statistical Leaders
Tackles: Carter; 14,
Sacks: None
TFL: Vickey Gilbert; 2
INT: None

HISTORY: This is the first ever meeting for the two schools.
OUTLOOK: Grambling finished 2011 with an 8-4 record and Southwestern Athletic Conference Championship. The Tigers narrowly lost in their opener last week against Alcorn State; 22-21. Although Grambling lost, they amassed over 400 yards of total offense and are led by D.J. Williams at quarterback, who is also Doug Williams' son. The running game for the Tigers is their biggest strength as they rely on the dynamic duo of Jeremy Runner and Dawrence Robertson, who combined for over 300 yards last week. Defensively Grambling is very young on the defensive front and at linebacker, but they do have an experienced and big secondary led by senior Naquan Smith. Cornerback Edward Patterson originally signed with TCU as part of the Frogs' 2008 class.
Offensive overview: 2012 stats(conference and national ranks)

TEAM OFFENSIVE RANKINGS
Listed are Gramblings stats and where they rank nationally and in conference play.
Category
Stat
FCS Rank
SWAC Rank
Total offense
422
31
3
Passing offense
66
99
9
Rushing offense
356
6
1
Passing Eff.
81.78
86
9
Scoring offense
21
51
4
Sacks allowed
2.0
47
5

The Tigers had little trouble moving the ball last week with Jeremy Runner and Dawrence Robertson shredding the Alcorn State defense. The two combined for over 200 yards on the ground and sophomore quarterback D.J. Williams, son of head coach Doug Williams, tried to maintain the balance through the air. The younger Williams threw for 138 yards but struggled with his accuracy completing only 10-of-22 passes. While Runner and Robertson led the way on the ground, Musa Muhmad led the Tigers' receiving corp with 85 yards on 3 catches. Muhmad was recruited by the Horned Frogs in the 2011 class.

The offensive line has experience, led by center Julian Wyndon, the three year starter and two-time All-SWAC performer. Sanford Banks comes in as one of the biggest players at the FCS level at 6-foot-6, 320-pounds and is also a three-year starter. After nearly 300 yards rushing in the opener, Grambling is obviously better at run blocking than they are the pass. They also allowed two sacks last week.


Defensive overview: 2012 stats(conference and national ranks)

TEAM DEFENSIVE RANKINGS
Listed are Gramblings stats and where they rank nationally and in conference play.
Category
Stat
FCS Rank
SWAC Rank
Total defense
325
36
4
Passing defense
101
16
3
Rushing defense
224
71
5
Scoring defense
22
43
5
Sacks
0
64
4
TFL
8
22
3
Turnovers
0
40
2

Grambling did everything they could last week against Alcorn State to get the victory and were in the driver's seat until an utter collapse in the 4th quarter when they allowed Alcorn State to score 13 points for the come from behind win. Grambling surrendered two drives that covered sixty yards in the final quarter.

If there was a bright spot for the Tigers, it came at linebacker where Jacarder Carter and Julien Wade shined after collecting 14 and 13 tackles respectively. Both backers are quick but lack ideal size at linebacker to combat teams with offensive lines as big as TCU's. The secondary however does have good size and help out on the run very well. They limited Alcorn State to just over 100 passing yards last week, but then again, the passing game wasn't a big need. The Tigers allowed four plays of over 20-plus yards to Alcorn State last week, the longest coming on a 25-yard pass play. However, the defense will come at you from all directions, collecting 8 tackles for loss last week, which included four from defensive backs.


SPECIAL TEAMS:

Fabian Carter struggled last week against Alcorn State, missing two field goal attempts that ultimately would've been the difference in a one-point ball game. The kicker also handles punting duties and averaged just 34 yards per punt last week. Freshman backup runningback Justin Fortson handles return duties and had a 21-yard return last week.


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