NEW ORLEANS — After Southern tried icing Garrett Urban, who was named Bayou Classic MVP, with all three of its second half timeouts, the Grambling kicker nailed a 25-yard field goal with two seconds left to lift the Tigers Saturday night in the Bayou Classic.
It ended a three-game losing streak to Southern in the Bayou Classic.
"My team, they put me in the position to do it," said Urban, who had five goals and was named Grambling State's Most Valuable Player. "I also wouldn't say this was my best game, to everyone else it may seem like the most successful, but I didn't do as well as I'd like to do. I want to hit the ball better."
Urban's other field goals were 39, 36, 27 and 27 yards.
In his first game as interim head coach, Terrence Graves guided Grambling (4-7, 3-5 SWAC) to the victory against Southern (4-7, 3-5) at Caesars Superdome.
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Here are three takeaways from the game:
Elijah Walker was the original starting quarterback at the beginning of the season, then split time with Aldon Clark, then was benched behind Noah Bodden and didn't see much playing time to give John-Paul Pierce reps. On Saturday, Walker returned to the starting lineup and played like he had something to prove.
Walker led the Tigers in rushing with 168 yards on 19 carries and one touchdown. He was 9-for-20 passing for 153 yards and one touchdown.
"I'm not even gonna lie, it feels good," Walker said. "It's just gonna make more hungry for my offseason. A lot of people saw a little more of what I can do, and that's what I wanted to come out and show a lot of people."
— GSU_Tigers (@GSU_TIGERS) November 27, 2021
It's never easy to come into the final game of the season a week after being named interim head coach, much less having the game be the Bayou Classic.
Graves handled everything thrown at him while inspiring his players to perform at their best.
"We're here. We worked to get here," Graves said in a fiery pregame speech to the players. "We didn't come here to have a good time. We came to compete, and we came to win. Alright, we know what to do, and we know how to do it. I expect you guys to go out there and represent Grambling the right way. Everybody understand that?"
The players responded, "Yes, sir."
"We're going to do it the right way," Graves continued. "We're going to do it the G-Man way, alright. There ain't got to be a whole lot of speeches and thunder and lightning coming from the ground and all that, from the skies and all that. This is football. This is what we've been training to do, so let's go out there and execute. Let's make plays, let's dominate, and let's win. Everybody understand that?"
Again, the players responded, "Yes, sir."
"All in on three," Graves said to close. "One, two, three." The players responded, "All in."
48th Bayou Classic
The 48th annual Bayou Classic marked the 73rd time that Grambling State and Southern had faced off.
The victory for Grambling evened the series against Southern 24-24 all-time.
"For the last few years, they've had our number," Graves said. "I told those guys that we gotta turn the page and change these things. Those guys, they dug in, bought in and that's our mental, we were all in. I'm so proud of these guys."
This article originally appeared on Monroe News-Star: Garrett Urban's 25-yard field goal lifts Grambling in Bayou Classic