North Carolina Central, Grambling State in Celebration Bowl
ATLANTA (AP) Grambling State (10-1, Southwestern Athletic Conference) vs. North Carolina Central (9-2, Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference), noon (ABC)
Line: Grambling State by 14 1/2
Series Record: Grambling State leads 3-0
WHAT'S AT STAKE
The game between champions of the historically black college conferences SWAC and MEAC will determine the HBCU national championship.
The North Carolina Central's high-scoring offense, which has averaged 30.7 points per game - second-most in school history - will be tested by Grambling State's defense that ranks first in the nation in red-zone defense and sixth in scoring defense. The Tigers held nine opponents to 20 or fewer points.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Grambling State: QB Devante Kincade, third in the nation in passing efficiency, threw for 2,957 yards with 33 touchdowns and only six interceptions. He was named SWAC offensive player of the year.
North Carolina Central: QB Malcolm Bell is the first player in school history with at least 6,000 yards passing and 1,000 yards rushing for his career. He threw for 2,191 yards with 16 touchdowns. His nine rushing touchdowns leads the Eagles and he is second on the team with 544 yards rushing. He
FACTS & FIGURES
The game's full name is Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl. ... Grambling State lost to Arizona 31-21 on Sept. 10 after leading 21-3 at halftime. ... Coach Broderick Fobbs was a running back for coach Eddie Robinson at Grambling from 1992-96. ... Kincade began his career at Mississippi. ... The Tigers won SWAC games by an average of 31.7 points. ... North Carolina Central shared the last two MEAC titles and is the first team in school history to win three straight conference championships. ... The Eagles are playing in their first bowl game. ... Since 2000, North Carolina Central is 5-1 when playing in NFL venues, with a 2010 overtime loss to Georgia State in the Georgia Dome. ... North Carolina A&T beat Alcorn State 41-34 in the inaugural 2015 Celebration Bowl. The announced attendance was 35,528.
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