Hampton 16, Grambling 7
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) _ Eddie Robinson didn’t get his 399th victory and the Grambling coach isn’t blaming anybody but himself.
``We didn’t excecute at all,″ the 76-year-old Robinson said Saturday night after Hampton beat the Tigers 16-7 in the 24th annual Whitney M. Young Classic before 61,023 fans at Giants Stadium.
Robinson, college football’s winningest coach, has been promised by his Tigers that they would put him over the 400 mark this season. The defeat drops Grambling to 1-1 and Robinson, in his 53rd season at the school, to 398-144-15.
``I know my guys wanted to win this and set the stage for 400 next week,″ Robinson said, referring to next weekend’s game with Central State at Grambling’s Robinson Stadium. ``You can bet they’re going to be working hard this week.
``This is similar to last year when some of the guys wanted to get to 400 and we lost three straight because they wanted to be part of history. Four-hundred will not mean anything to me if it doesn’t mean something to my players, my school, everybody connected with Grambling football.″
Hampton (2-0) is 2-2 in the Young Classic, while Grambling is 17-6.
The Pirates took the lead for good with 1:50 left in the first half when Anthony Smith, voted the game’s MVP, capped a seven-play, 69-yard drive with a 14-yard run up the middle. Hampton, which missed the extra point, led 9-7 at halftime.
With 7:20 left in the third quarter, Malcolm Benson blocked a Grambling punt and Joe Manley recovered the loose ball and went 56 yards for the game’s final touchdown.
Grambling took a 7-3 with 4:55 left in the second quarter on a 7-yard run by Jason Bratton. Hampton opened the scoring nine seconds into the second quarter on a 29-yard field goal by Todd Covington.
Smith finished with 86 yards on 14 carries. Quarterback Sekou Wilson was 9-for-20 for 120 yards for the Pirates.
Kendrick Nord was 10-for-30 for 92 yards for the Tigers and was sacked five times.
``You didn’t see the real Kendrick Nord,″ Robinson said. ``I don’t know if it’s the pressure of being named one of the top quarterbacks in the country, but he overthrew people all night and that’s not typical of him.″