GRAMBLING, La. – The turnover bug haunted Texas Southern as they committed five turnovers as they fell 34-20 to Grambling State on Saturday afternoon in Robinson Stadium.
TSU picked up where they left off last weekend as Isaiah Hamilton picked off a GSU pass and the offense rewarded him for his efforts as Jyrin Johnson caught a 23-yard touchdown reception from Andrew Body early in the first quarter. The PAT was missed as TSU led 6-0.
Grambling State would drive all the way to the TSU 12 and was poised to settle for an early field goal but a TSU penalty on the play gave GSU new life with a first down. Grambling State made TSU pay for the mistake as they rushed in from four yards out for a 7-6 lead after the PAT. TSU would march down to the GSU 38 on the ensuing drive but TSU failed to convert the fourth down.
Both teams continued to rely on its defensive units in the second quarter as linebacker Tarik Cooper came up big with an interception off a tipped pass at the TSU 5. Unfortunately, TSU would fumble the ball on its next possession at its own 38 but the TSU defense held ground by holding GSU to a field goal to end the half down 10-6.
TSU’s Matthew Williams came up big early in the third quarter with a big interception but TSU surrendered the ball immediately as an interception led to a GSU touchdown and a 17-6 deficit after the PAT. TSU committed another interception but the defense would hold as Grambling State would tack on another field goal to lead 20-6. Late in the third quarter, TSU would commit another turnover as Grambling State returned a fumble 70 yards for a score and a 27-6 lead.
The TSU defense came up big late to open the fourth quarter as Michael Badejo stripped the GSU quarterback and Javius Williams ran the ball in for 44 yards and a touchdown as TSU trailed 27-13 following Richard Garcia III’s PAT. Grambling State added another touchdown after an eight-play, 50-yard drive to move on top 34-13 with 5:04 left. Jalen Brown was inserted at quarterback midway through the fourth quarter and led TSU on a 12-play, 80-yard drive to close the gap to 34-20 but that would be the final score for the Tigers.
Texas Southern gained 362 yards (245 P, 145 R) while the defense played lights out as they held GSU to a season-low 246 yards (168 P, 78 R). Body passed for 172 yards on 16-of-26 passing while also leading TSU with 55 yards on the ground. Jyrin Johnson caught a team-high six passes for 70 yards and a touchdown while Julian Marcantel and Josh Murray both had six tackles.
TSU is back in action next weekend versus Alcorn State at PNC Stadium (formerly named BBVA Stadium) next Saturday at 7 p.m.
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