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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Grambling State serves an athletic dose of humble pie to ‘Cats

Darien Bakas

Grambling State running back Martez Carter (4) runs the ball down the field in the game against Arizona on Saturday. Carter rushed for 43 yards and caught an additional 71.

Traditionally, FCS schools are supposed to be lacking two advantages over Division I schools — better athletes and better players. For a large portion of Saturday night’s football game against the Arizona Wildcats, Grambling State appeared to have both.

The Grambling State Tigers imposed their will on the Wildcats Saturday night through their defense, using the same 3-3-5 defensive scheme that former Arizona defensive coordinator Jeff Casteel was run out of town for. The difference — Grambling played tougher and faster than Arizona the entire first half, stopping the Wildcats on several fourth-and-short situations.

On the offensive side of the ball for the Tigers, quarterback DeVante Kincade, a transfer from Ole Miss, was near impossible to tackle and played every bit the part of a legitimate SEC signal caller. Kincade was 15-of-19 for 193 yards and two touchdown passes before pulling up lame in the second quarter with an apparent leg injury. 

“You can see why I tried to recruit him, he may be the most athletic quarterback we face all year, he is just, wow,” said Arizona Head Coach Rich Rodriguez. 

Kincade wouldn’t return and it would end up costing the Tigers dearly in the second half.

Between the third and fourth quarters the Tigers turned the ball over four times in a row and a total of six in the second half, leading to 28 consecutive points resulting in a 31-21 win for Arizona. 

RELATED: Defense forces six turnovers, but still has plenty of room to improve

“They took advantage of our mistakes, that is what good teams do … at the end of the day you just can’t turn the ball over like that,” said Grambling State Head Coach Broderick Fobbs after the game.

However, the miscues only bailed out the Wildcats who were dreadful on defense in the first half. 

“I don’t think we had one three-and-out the entire game, getting turnovers was the only way to stop them,” Rodriguez said. 

The ‘Cats had an alarming amount of missed tackles and appeared to be physically over matched by Grambling State early on. 

“We need to clean it up, our technique was bad but we have to be in better position, which we can fix,” said linebacker Michael Barton. 

Seniors Paul Magloire, Jr. and Sani Fuimaono were no where to be seen. The pair combined for just two tackles and the rest of the defense was busy trying to catch up to the speed of Grambling State’s skill position players.

RELATED: Brandon Dawkins helps Wildcats to win, fails to score spot as starter

Running back Martez Carter and wide receivers Chad Williams and Dominique Leake ran wild all over Arizona, making countless defenders miss them, time after time. Between the trio of players they had 23 receptions for 314 yards.

The Wildcats were lucky to be able to capitalize on so many miscues by the Tigers, because for a large portion of time they looked to be outmatched. But this is often the difference between FBS and FCS teams, the ability to weather a storm and minimize mistakes — something Arizona did well in that regard. 

Moving forward, the Wildcats will have to realize their own limitations and be honest with who they are, an average defense trying to play the best it can.

Follow Saul Bookman on Twitter

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