Troy State wants payback
Published 12:00 am Sunday, January 3, 1999
for FAMU loss last season
By STEVEN G. WATSON
Revenge is not always the most savory of motivations, but primitive or not, it has it’s effective uses.
One of those uses might be a win by the Troy State Trojans Saturday when they face off against the Florida A&M Rattlers on Richard M. Scrushy Field at Memorial Stadium on Saturday with the kickoff set for 1:20 p.m.
Throughout the year the Trojans have been on a "Revenge Tour" of sorts.
They got some big-time revenge on Stephen F. Austin after three straight years of losing to the Lumberjacks. They were able to once again drill Jacksonville State in a game neither team really needs any incentive to play. They ousted James Madison from the playoffs with a little revenge from the first round of the playoffs five years ago entering into play. Now definitely the most important game of the season so far will be against the Rattlers who knocked a very talented TSU team out of the first round last year.
This is the matchup many were hoping for even before the brackets were drawn up. The thought of all the FAMU fans making the short trip to Troy and having the stingy Trojan defense facing off against the high-powered Florida A&M offense.
As far as the TSU players are concerned, however, all they are thinking about is payback.
"It’s all about payback," junior safety Chris Archie said. "All that we’ve got riding on it and the loss from last year when they beat us, this is the type of game you pray for. This is what you play football for.
"Before the Stephen F. game the coach talked about how we had never beaten them since we’ve been in the league and personally that motivated me," he continued. "They knocked us out last year when we thought we could have won it all. I’m just really, really motivated to play Saturday."
"You can basically say that since that loss to FAMU last year we’ve been working on getting back to the playoffs and have a chance at them again," senior Al Lucas said. "It’s falling right into place of how we wanted it last year. We’ve been working hard since that loss and I think this team is ready to go out and win the game."
TSU head coach Larry Blakeney doesn’t feel that revenge means a whole lot during the game, but he likes the focus his team shows when they have an extra reason or two to beat a team.
"Payback has always been pretty good medicine for us," Blakeney said. "It’s not always that way, but when these guys talk about it and use it as a motivator we usually prepare pretty well. I’m one that believes that stuff goes out the window when the ball is kicked, but anything that helps you in preparation and helps you focus on an opponent is a positive.
"It should be a big factor Saturday. I hope it’s big because we owe them one from last year." he added.
"Last year, after the game we knew that we could have won that game," TSU fullback Thad Buttone said. "It left a pretty bad feeling in all of us. We promised ourselves that we wouldn’t let that happen again. We use that as motivation and we won’t have that feeling again this year."
The winner of Saturday’s game will face off against the winner of the North Carolina A&T Youngstown State winner.