Arkansas-Pine Bluff’s Monte Coleman: ‘All we can do is be the spoiler’

Arkansas-Pine Bluff is, technically, out of SWAC contention.

Still, with Jackson State in town (minus coach Rick Comegy, who was suspended earlier this week), and Texas Southern (suddenly in control of its own division) coming up next, a lot remains on the line.

For the opponents, anyway. Right?

After all, Jackson State must win to keep its slim Eastern Division title hopes alive. Meanwhile, if Texas Southern trips, that puts the race for the Western Division crown back in Grambling’s hands. Win the Bayou Classic against Southern, and Grambling would then advance to the Southwestern Athletic Conference Championship Game.

But the Golden Lions have something to play for, too.

“All we can do,” UAPB coach Monte Coleman says “is be the spoiler.”

Indeed.

Don’t be surprised if you see some Grambling fans, still stung by a Thursday night overtime loss to Texas Southern, switching to a different version of the old Black and Gold. There will be a lot of Raymond Webber fans in north Louisiana over the next few days.

He’s easy to pull for. When you’re not playing him, anyway.

[See video of the post-game tirade that got Jackson State coach Rick Comegy suspended.]

Webber is tops in the FCS for catches per game (8.89), yards per game (130.89) and total yards (1,178). Four times already this season, he has had 150 or more receiving yards a game. Only three times this year has Webber failed to reach the 100-yard plateau.

Yet, somehow, Webber’s name has not found its way to the Watch List for the Walter Payton Award, which annually recognizes the championship subdivision’s best offensive player — a group that already includes Jackson State quarterback Casey Therriault and Grambling running back Frank Warren.

“I definitely think he deserves to be there,” Coleman said. “Not to take anything from the other guys, the one from Grambling and the one from Jackson State, but he should be there, too. I don’t know why he’s not on there, as well.”

Webber, quite frankly, defines the Arkansas-Pine Bluff attack. He leads the team in scoring, with 10 TD catches, and in catches (80), and yards (1,178). He’s bound to test a Jackson State team which, though ranked No. 4 in the SWAC for pass defense, is reeling after losing both its divisional lead and its head coach.

For Arkansas-Pine Bluff, there is also this: “If we win this one (against Jackson State),” Coleman says, “it gives us a winning season. It’s a little bit different scenario, but we both have a lot riding on this game.”

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