Big Defensive Plays Lift GSU past AAMU


HUNTSVILLE, Ala. | Joseph McWilliams and Devanir Martin returned interceptions for touchdowns as the Grambling State University football team won its third straight game on Saturday afternoon, 29-16, against Alabama A&M in a non-conference game at Louis Crews Stadium.

“We played well today, but we have some things we need to improve on,” Grambling State head coach Broderick Fobbs said. “Alabama A&M is a good football team and is extremely well coached. I thought defensively we played well and were extremely aggressive today. Now we get a week off to get some players healthy before the Bayou Classic.”

The Bulldogs (5-5) took the opening kickoff and marched 75 yards in 11 plays, taking nearly four-and-half minutes off the clock, as Aqeel Glass connected with Marceles Class for a 6-yard touchdown pass to give Alabama A&M an early 7-0 advantage with 10:34 left in the first.

Grambling State (6-4), on its first drive of the day, moved the ball to inside the Alabama A&M 5, but came away with just three points. The Tigers, aided by Geremy Hickbottom going 4 of 6 passing on the drive, marched 73 yards in 15 plays, but could not punch the ball into the end zone as Marc Orozco kicked a 21-yard field goal to cut the margin to 7-3 with 3:53 left in the opening quarter.

On the next offensive possession for Alabama A&M, Glass was picked off by Danquarian Fields. The Tigers used a fake punt to get into Bulldog territory, but costly penalties forced a Tiger punt.

On 2nd-and-seven from the Bulldog 18, Glass was picked off by Joseph McWilliams, who ran 20 yards untouched into the endzone to give the Tigers a 10-7 lead with 11:20 left in the first half.

Alabama A&M quickly answered as the Bulldogs went 46 yards in nine plays and settled for a 21-yard Corey Spencer field goal, tying the game at 10 with 8:15 remaining in the second.

Grambling State needed almost two minutes to retake the lead as Hickbottom connected with Devante Davis down the right sideline for a 39-yard touchdown as Grambling State grabbed a 17-10 advantage with 6:23 left in the quarter.

After both teams traded punts in the third, the Tigers marched 51 yards in seven plays as Orozco booted a 26-yard field goal to extend the advantage to 20-10 with 3:43 remaining in the quarter.

On the very next offensive possession for Alabama A&M, Glass was picked off by Devanir Martin, who went 35 yards to the endzone as Grambling State pushed the lead to 27-10 with 2:51 left in the third.

Alabama A&M tried to close the gap late as Dylan Smith rushed 10 yards for the score to trim the margin to 27-16 with 5:32 left. The PAT attempt by Spencer was blocked and McWilliams went all the way for the two point conversation as GSU led 29-16.

Turning Point

Turnovers, Turnovers, Turnovers…

Grambling State didn’t just one interception for a touchdown, the Tigers had two for scores.

GSU trailed 7-3 early in the second quarter, but that changed with a pick six. Aqeel Glass’ pass was picked off by Joseph McWilliams, his fourth in five games, and the junior defensive back went 20 yards untouched to give the Tigers a 10-7 lead.

In the third quarter with the Tigers ahead, 20-10, Glass was picked off by Devanir Martin, who went 35 yards into the end zone and extended the lead to 27-10.

Inside the Numbers

> Grambling State finished with 19 first downs and amassed 340 total yards of offense

> Grambling was 3-of-14 on third downs and held the ball for 27:56

> Geremy Hickbottom was 12 of 22 passing for 146 yards, one touchdown pass and one interception

> Lyndemian Brooks led the ground game with 12 carries for 83 yards

> Johntavious Robinson added 11 touches for 56 yards

> Devohn Lindsey caught five passes for 67 yards

> Devante Davis added four catches for 57 yards and one touchdown

> Joseph McWilliams registered a team-high eight solo tackles, along with one interception

> De’Andre Hogue recorded eight total tackles, with four solo stops and an assisted sack

> Alabama A&M tallied 21 first downs and 402 total yards of offense

> The Bulldogs went 5-for-15 on third downs and held the ball for 32:04

> Aqeel Glass was 16 of 28 passing for 149 yards, three interceptions and one touchdon

> Dylan Smith rushed 10 times for 70 yards

> Trevon Walters added 68 yards on 18 touches

> Brian Jenkins Jr. registered 21 yards on seven catches

> Octayvious Miles caught six passes for 95 yards

> Armony Holloway led the defense with 13 total tackles, including nine solo stops

> Rhomel Fields registered seven tackles, with five solo stops

News & Notes

> Joseph McWilliams recorded an interception in the second quarter and now has four in the last five games

> Danquarian Fields registered his first interception in the first quarter

> Garrett Urban rushed one time – on a fake punt – for 19 yards

> Devanir Martin recorded his second interception of the season and his first touchdown

> Broderick Fobbs remained unbeaten against Alabama A&M (3-0)

> Grambling State wore its white jerseys with red pants for the first time this season

> GSU ran its all-time series record to 19-6

> The Tigers have won six or more games in each of the five seasons under Broderick Fobbs

> Broderick Fobbs improved his record in the month of November to 14-2

> Broderick Fobbs continued his unbeaten streak in the state of Alabama (5-0) 

> With the victory, Broderick Fobbs is now five victories shy of 50 for his collegiate coaching career

> Grambling State and Southern will meet on Nov. 24 to decide the winner of the SWAC West Division crown

Up Next

Grambling State now turns its attention to the 45th Annual Bayou Classic and the showdown with rival Southern. The winner of the Bayou Classic on Nov. 24 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans will win the SWAC West Division title. Kickoff for the annual rivalry game is set for 4 p.m. and the can will be televised and streamed on the NBC Sports Network.

Follow Grambling State Athletics

For complete coverage of Grambling State athletics, please follow the Tigers on social media at @GSU_Tigers (Twitter), /gramblingstateathletics (Facebook), @gramblingathletics01 (Instagram) or visit the official home of Grambling State Athletics at

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