December 17, 2017- Make no mistake, the Celebration Bowl features the top two HBCU football teams in the country. This year the Grambling Tigers will face off against the North Carolina Central Eagles. We break down each teams keys to victory.
- Avoid the slow start- Far too often the Tigers have come out flat to start games. Most notably in the Bayou Classic and SWAC Championship. They have the talent to “turn on the switch” against most opponents. However digging a hole against Malcolm Bell and the NCCU defensive would not be wise.
- Establish The Run- Martez “Mr. Excitement” Carter and Jestin Kelly are arguably the best backfield duo in the nation. Each back has big play ability. If Grambling is able to establish the run they will both control the clock and open up their deep passing game.
- Contain Malcolm Bell- Black College Football Hall of Fame Player of the Year candidate Malcolm Bell is a problem. He is a dual threat quaterback surrounded by quality receievers. If Grambling wants to win this game they must limit his impact and get the NCCU offensive off the field.
North Carolina Central
- Win the Trenches- NCCU has both a talented offensive and defensive line. 4 members of the O-Line were All-Conference players. They must protect Malcolm Bell and establish the run. The defensive line will need a repeat perfomance of their game versus NCAT. They held the prolific Tarik Cohen to under 100 yards rushing and forced 2 fumbles.
- Force Turnovers- The Grambling Tigers are fumble prone. On the year they have 25 fumbles. 14 of those were lost. If NCCU wins the turnover battle, they will likely winn the game.
- Pressure Kincade-Most of the year Grambling Star Quaterback Devante Kincade has been well protected by his O-Line. If Kincade has time to throw his weapons (Chad Williams & Company) will get open. If NCCU wants to win this game Defensive Lineman Antonio Brown and Freddy Henry-Ajuda must hit and pressure Kincade early and often.