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There are plenty of massive college football games during championship weekend, but one of the most underrated matchups takes place in Houston, as the Grambling Tigers and Alcorn State Braves meet in the SWAC Championship at NRG Stadium.
Kickoff is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. ET and will be broadcast on ESPNU. If you don’t have cable or can’t get to a TV, you can watch the game online, on your phone or on another streaming device via one of the following over-the-top, cable-free, live-TV streaming services. They cost a monthly fee but all come with a free trial, so you can watch today’s game for free:
DirecTV Now: ESPNU is included in the “Just Right,” “Go Big” and “Gotta Have It” channel packages. They range from $50 to $70 per month, but it comes with a free 7-day trial no matter what package you choose. You can watch on your computer via your browser, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the DirecTV Now app
Sling TV: ESPNU is included in the “Sling Orange” plus “Sports Extra” channel packages. That costs a total of $25 per month, but it comes with a free 7-day trial. You can watch on your computer via your browser, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the Sling TV app
PlayStation Vue: ESPNU is included in the “Core,” “Elite” and “Ultra” channel packages. They range from $45 to $75 per month, but it comes with a free 5-day trial. You can watch on your computer via your browser, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the PlayStation Vue app
One of the more underrated rivalries in college sports, this matchup marks the third consecutive time these two schools will meet in the championship game. Alcorn State rolled to a 49-21 victory for their second straight conference title in 2015, while Grambling State got revenge last year with a 27-20 triumph, making this something of a rubber match.
When they met in October of this year, it was all Grambling, as the Tigers forced recovered four Alcorn State fumbles and picked off Noah Johnson three times on their way to a 41-14 dismantling. The offense was equally up to the job, as Devante Kincade threw for a super efficient 10.3 yards per attempt to go with three total touchdowns (two passing, one rushing), while Martez Carter kept things balanced with 115 yards on 25 carries.
It’s been similar results for much of the season for Grambling. Kincade has thrown for 2,457 yards with a sparkling 19:3 TD:INT ratio, while Carter has 1,194 yards from scrimmage, 10 total touchdowns and 5.2 yards per carry. Combine that balanced offense with an opportunistic defense that has racked up 45 sacks, 13 fumble recoveries and 16 interceptions, and it’s no surprise Broderick Fobbs’ squad sits at 10-1 overall and 7-0 in the conference.
For Alcorn State, success hinges on running the ball, as De’Lance Turner and P.J. Simmons have combined for 1,859 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns on 233 carries (7.98 YPC) this season. Throw in the ability of their quarterback to run, and despite not being much of a threat through the air, they still average a potent 7.0 yards per play.
Put it all together, and if the Braves are able to protect the ball better than they did in the early-season matchup, we likely have an entertaining shootout on our hands.