TSU makes first ever trip to the ‘Rock’

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 7, 2000

Sports Editor

The Troy State defense will be facing a number of different things come Saturday night against No. 4 Appalachian State.

They’ll be facing an offensive unit which returns nine starters from a team that went 9-3 last season.

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They’ll be facing an experienced quarterback, receiving corp and backfield.

And they’ll also be facing over 20,000 fans at Kidd-Brewer Stadium, (commonly referred to as the "Rock"), most of which who will be rooting for the Mountaineers.

Appalachian State came up with a big win at

home last season when the "rocked" eventual Division 1-AA National Champion Georgia Southern 17-16.

Trojan head coach Larry Blakeney knows this will be a tough early season test for his squad.

"This is going to be a very, very hard game to win," he said, "but I think we can. This is why you play and coach the game, to be challenged by a team like Appy State."

ASU senior quarterback David Reeves thought he’d be sharing time with fellow senior Daniel Jeremiah in this game. But Jeremiah went down last week in the Mountaineers’ win over Wake Forest with a sprained knee. He will miss Saturday’s game and probably next week as well.

Reeves was the Mountaineers’ leading passer last season throwing for 1,167 yards and eight touchdowns.

"They have a very diversified passing game," said Blakeney. "They can throw the quick stuff and even go deep. Reeves is an aggressive passer and. For the most part they threw on third down against Wake Forest last week."

At wide receiver the Mountaineers return an experienced group, with seniors Rashad Slade and Troy Albea getting the starting nods. Slade caught 6 passes for 92 yards and a touchdown last week.

Blakeney said, if necessary, the coaching staff would make adjustments during the game in order to help out the Trojans’ young cornerbacks, sophomores Deiric Jackson and Rayshun Reed.

"It will depend a lot on the situation," said Blakeney. "We’ll help them out as much as we can with the safety, but there will be times when they’ll have to line up and play a basic man to man."

Blakeney said he was particularly concerned by the Mountaineers tight end Daniel Wilcox.

"He comes off the line well and can catch the ball," Blakeney said.

However, Blakeney feels that ASU will come out and attack the Trojan defense with the running game.

"I think they’ll come out and run the belly-to-belly option," he said. "It doesn’t matter who’s out there they are going to be dedicated to running the football. And guarding against the option changes the whole thought process when it comes calling the defense."

TSU makes first ever trip to the ‘Rock’