Southern and Grambling clash in Bayou Classic to crown SWAC West champs

Southern and Grambling clash in Bayou Classic to crown SWAC West champs
Southern head coach Dawson Odums (Source: Josh Auzenne/WAFB-TV)

NEW ORLEANS (WAFB) - It’s hard to top the tradition of a Bayou Classic weekend in the Crescent City and this could be another true classic that goes down to the wire between Southern and Grambling.

It’s another Bayou Classic with a “winner-take-all” for the SWAC West scenario and the Jags and Tigers wouldn’t have it any other way.

Southern vs Grambling Bayou Classic Preview

“We win or go home, so it’s just really a big deal,” said Southern linebacker Caleb Carter. “Everyone wants to go to the championship. Everybody wants a ring.”

“The game cannot be too big for you,” explained Southern head coach Dawson Odums. “Sometimes in games like this, guys get out of their gaps, they try to do too much, and they give up big plays. It comes down to guys being relaxed and just understanding you have to execute the game plan and the team that’s going to handle that is the one that’s going to win the football game.”

Looking at both these teams earlier in the season, there were lots of questions. Grambling started 0-4 and many thought the Tigers wouldn’t even be in this position. For the Jags, outside of the UAPB game, they never really dominated any conference game start to finish and have struggled offensively at times to find a rhythm.

“There are some times you need to go through adversity in order to know what you have and I think that’s something that has happened to our program,” noted Grambling head coach Broderick Fobbs. “It’s been good for us because you know who’s with you and who’s not with you. And also, you learn a lot about your kids and your coaches.”

“We lost a really close game against FAMU. We lost a close game to McNeese where we really gave games away. We’re getting into the month of November, we’re in the same kinds of football games and those guys find a way to win. So, I think we’ve grown tremendously throughout the course of this season,” Odums added.

Saturday’s 46th Bayou Classic figures to be a good one, maybe even one of the best. If it comes down to the final possession or two, look for how the Jags offense can close out the game if their backs are against the wall and if the defense can bend but not break like they’ve done so many times before.

Odums is 4-3 in Bayou Classic games.

Kickoff is scheduled for 4 p.m. The game can be seen on NBC Sports Channel.

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