The Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl is the only match-up between FCS teams in the bowl season. Historically Black Colleges compete for this bowl game as the winners of the MEAC and SWAC conferences play each other. Many know this game as the HBCU (Historically Black College) National Championship Game and it is played at the Georgia Dome on December 17.
Last year, the first year of the Celebration Bowl, the North Carolina A&T Aggies, of the MEAC, defeated the SWAC representative, the Alcorn State Braves, 41-34. The game was a rousing success, as it was played in front of more than 35,000 fans.
In this year’s game the North Carolina Central Eagles will face off against the Grambling State Tigers.
North Carolina Central lost its first two games of the season before winning ten straight games to win the MEAC. The two losses were both blowouts to FBS teams Western Michigan and Duke.
The NC Central passing game is led by Malcolm Bell, who has thrown for 2,191 yards, but has also thrown 12 interceptions.
Frederick Henry-Ajudua has 7.5 sacks and will be a force to be reckoned with by the Grambling State offensive line. Linebacker Reggie Hunter has been good in coverage with four interceptions on the season. The Eagles’ defense is better than Grambling State’s, giving up 24.1 points per game.
Grambling State is 11-1 on the season, with their only loss coming at Arizona in a close game. They have been led by quarterback Devante Kincaid, an Ole Miss transfer, who is sixteenth in passing yards at the FCS level with 2,845. He has thrown for 30 touchdowns, but the most impressive thing he has done is only throw three interceptions all year.
Chad Williams has helped the high-powered passing attack by hauling in 86 passes for 1,294 yards and 10 touchdowns.
On defense Grambling will be helped by pass rusher Samuel Reece, who has 8.5 sacks on the season.
Kincaid will continue to protect the ball and get Grambling’s potent offense rolling. This will be a high scoring game and the Tigers will come out on top.
Grambling State 38 NC Central 29
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