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Southern and Grambling get ready for abnormal Bayou Classic

Updated: Apr. 13, 2021 at 11:43 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The Bayou Classic is typically played two days after Thanksgiving but this time around, however, it’s going to be held a couple of weekends after Easter as a result of the SWAC pushing the 2020 season back from the fall to the spring because of the pandemic.

The 47th Annual Bayou Classic will feature two offenses that have gone in different directions. Southern’s identity of ground and pound has been consistent. The Jaguars (4-1) have the top rushing attack in the SWAC, averaging 205 yards per game, which is something that can pay huge dividends on Saturday as Grambling’s defense ranks dead last in stopping the run.

On the other side, it has been an identity crisis for the Tigers (0-3). Grambling has lost two offensive coordinators this spring and longtime starter Geremy Hickbottom entered the NCAA Transfer Portal a month into the season. That leaves Amite’s Elijah Walker as the man under center. Walker will be making his second start of the season.

The last Bayou Classic was played roughly 17 months ago. It was an exciting 30-28 win by Southern in New Orleans. The Jags rallied from an early 21-3 deficit.

The game on Saturday, April 17, will take place at Independence Stadium in Shreveport.

Grambling hasn’t played a game since March 20 because of COVID protocols and the Tigers are excited to take the field, even though this is hardly a typical Bayou Classic.

RELATED: What you need to know ahead of Saturday’s Bayou Classic in Shreveport

“A lot of fanfare, the bands, etc., things that engulf this football game will not be present,” said Grambling head coach Broderick Fobbs. “But it still is a huge, huge football game in the aspect that you’re playing against your state rival and they’re playing really good football at this time and playing really confidently and we’re looking forward to this opportunity.”

“When I first got to Southern, we played Prairie View in Shreveport, so it’s going to be a good atmosphere, taking on a good team,” added Southern head coach Dawson Odums. “And I don’t think it really matters where we play. And get ready to compete at a high level.”

Kickoff is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. The game can be watched on NBC Sports Network.

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