By DOUG IRELAND, Journal Staff
New Grambling football coach Hue Jackson will lead his 2022 Tigers into Independence Stadium against Northwestern State and the G-Men will visit reigning Southwestern Athletic Conference champion Jackson State and “Coach Prime,” Deion Sanders, in a non-conference contest.
Grambling announced this year’s schedule Wednesday, confirming the matchup in Shreveport on Sept. 10 against Northwestern and revealing the unanticipated Sept. 17 trip to JSU, a pairing that seems likely for ESPN coverage. The Tigers play away from home in their first six games.
The season opener is Sept. 3 at Arkansas State. The SWAC schedule culminates with the annual Bayou Classic battle in New Orleans Nov. 26 against Southern.
The Tigers won’t play in Grambling at Eddie G. Robinson Memorial Stadium until Oct. 15 against new SWAC foe Florida A&M, the first of three straight homefield appearances. Meetings with FAMU, Alcorn State (Oct. 29) and UAPB (Nov. 5) are the only on-campus outings on the schedule.
Season ticket packages will include the three home games, the NSU contest and the State Fair Classic in Dallas against Prairie View. The packages go on sale during the April 2 spring game. Tailgating space will be limited and more information with how and when to purchase tailgating spots for the spring game will be released in February, Grambling officials said.
Jackson, former head coach of the NFL’s Las Vegas Raiders and Cleveland Browns, was hired in December to replace the fired Broderick Fobbs after the G-Men had losing seasons in the spring and the conventional fall schedule. Those followed consecutive 6-5 years that spurred some frustration among Grambling fans, although after he took over in Dec. 2013, Fobbs steered the program back from a 2013 in-season meltdown including a players’ strike. His teams won three SWAC West Division championships (2015-17), two overall conference crowns (2016-17), and the 2016 HBCU national championship.
The 2022 Grambling football schedule: Sept. 3 at Arkansas State; Sept. 10 vs. Northwestern State in Shreveport; Sept. 17 at Jackson State; Sept. 24 at Bethune-Cookman*; Oct. 1, State Fair Classic at Dallas, vs. Prairie View*; Oct. 8 at Alabama A&M*; Oct. 15 home vs. Florida A&M*; Oct. 22 open date; Oct. 29 home vs. Alcorn State*; Nov. 5 home vs. Arkansas-Pine Bluff*; Nov. 12 at Texas Southern*; Nov. 19 open date; Nov. 26, Bayou Classic at New Orleans, vs. Southern*. (* asterisk indicates SWAC games).
Photo courtesy of GRAMBLING STATE