For the second time in program history, LSU will host an HBCU in Tiger Stadium on Saturday night.
The Grambling State Tigers, led by former NFL head coach Hue Jackson, will come to town. LSU is a heavy favorite and looks to keep its 40-year winning streak against in-state schools alive.
This game comes at a needed time for Brian Kelly’s squad as they try to work out the issues from the three-score loss at the hands of Florida State.
Here are five things to know about Grambling before it arrives in Tiger Stadium on Saturday night.
From 2015-2017, Grambling won 31 games under head coach Broderick Fobbs.
In 2018, Fobbs’ group slipped to 6-5 followed by another six-win campaign in 2019. Coming out of the postponed COVID year, Grambling fell further to 4-7. It was the Tigers’ first losing season under Fobbs.
Grambling turned to former NFL head coach Hue Jackson, who went 3-8 in his inaugural 2022 season. The Tigers are off to an 0-1 start in 2023 as Jackson tries to get it rolling.
Past results vs. FBS teams
Grambling’s last game against an FBS team was the 2022 opener. It lost 58-3 on the road against a bad Arkansas State team.
It faced two FBS teams in 2021 and lost by a combined 82-0 to Southern Miss and Houston.
The 2019 team was more competitive at this level, losing to ULM 31-9 but played a one score game with Louisiana Tech.
Grambling last played a Power Five school in 2016 when it took a trip to Arizona. The Tigers played well, losing 31-21.
An SEC team of LSU’s caliber will be the most talented group Grambling faced in some time.
Players to watch
"Preseason wise I think I marked off everything on my checklist." – Sundiata Anderson
✅Reese's Senior Bowl Watch List
✅SWAC Preseason Defensive Player of the Year
✅SWAC Preseason First-Team
✅Phil Steele Preseason Second-Team All-American
✅East West Shrine Bowl Watch List… pic.twitter.com/rjTck7L5rS
— Megan Murray (@meganmurraytv) August 23, 2023
Grambling will bring one of the best defenders in the SWAC to Tiger Stadium on Saturday night. DL Sundiata Anderson was selected as the preseason player of the year in the conference.
He was put on the Senior Bowl watchlist and could be a guy with NFL potential.
Anderson is joined in the front seven by linebacker Lewis Matthews, also a preseason All-SWAC selection.
— Hue Jackson Coach’s Clinic (@coachhueclinic) July 26, 2023
Grambling’s top receiver is Lyndon Rash. He led the Tigers with eight catches for 90 yards in week one.
Keep an eye on QB Myles Crawley too. Despite the loss, Grambling still scored 31 points last week behind a solid performance from the quarterback.
What do rating systems say about Grambling?
It can be difficult to get a complete reading on power ratings for FCS teams. Vegas doesn’t always set lines for these teams and there’s less coverage in general.
We have the Massey Ratings. Grambling sits ar 112th in the FCS there with the 100th ranked offense and 110th defense.
Bill Connelly’s SP+ has LSU favored by 48.5 here.
WEEK 2 SP+ PICKS
Bama 34, Texas 21
ND 31, NC St 17
Rebs 33, Angry Wave 26
A&M 24, Miami 22
Oregon 38, Tex Tech 26
Wisconsin 28, Wazzu 23
We're still very much in "ignore Colorado projections" mode. And maybe "ignore point totals" too. pic.twitter.com/A5osUWqkjw
— Bill Connelly (@ESPN_BillC) September 5, 2023
More history is made
Last year, LSU welcomed Southern University to Tiger Stadium. It was the first in program history that LSU faced an HBCU.
It’s Grambling, another in-state HBCU, making the trip this year.
The game might not carry the same pageantry as last year’s match with Southern. LSU and Southern share a city, so we saw that game become a celebration of football in Baton Rouge.
But Grambling still brings a storied tradition of its own to Baton Rouge and Saturday night will again serve as a chance to recognize the tradition of football across the state of Louisiana.