TSU football inks deal with Nebraska

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 20, 2000

Special to The Messenger

Sept. 19, 2000 10 PM

The Troy State football team has signed a contract to open its 2001 and 2002 seasons against the University of Nebraska, Athletics Director Johnny Williams confirmed on Tuesday.

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The Trojans will travel to Lincoln on Sept. 1, 2001, and Aug. 31, 2002, to play the Cornhuskers in exchange for a $475,000 guarantee per game.

"It is an honor to have an opportunity to play the best team in America," Williams said. "We are really excited about the chance to go to Nebraska and the exposure it will give our program nationwide. We believe it will help us in our recruiting efforts as well."

Troy State was originally scheduled to play Ole Miss on Sept. 1, 2001, but Williams said he has informed the Southeastern Conference school that Troy State does not intend to play the scheduled game. TSU will, however, attempt to help Ole Miss fill the open date.

The Trojans are playing their final season as a Division I-AA school this year and are scheduled to play four Division I-A opponents next season. Troy State is currently ranked No. 1 in Division I-AA, while Nebraska is the top-ranked Division I-A team.

Head coach Larry Blakeney said he knows his squad will face a great challenge.

"I’ve been there before (to Lincoln)," said Blakeney, who traveled to Lincoln while an assistant at Auburn in the mid-80s. "It’s not an easy place to play. They fill it up both in the stands and on the field with great players, so we know we’ll face a great challenge. If you’re going to play and get a guarantee for doing it, though, you might as well play the best. That’s what we’ll be doing."

Troy State will also play Division I-A opponents Maryland (Sept. 29), Miami, Fla. (Oct. 6) and Mississippi State (Oct. 13) on the road in 2001.

Tentative 2001 Schedule

Sept. 1 at Nebraska

Sept. 8 OPEN

Sept. 15 Appalachian State

Sept. 22 OPEN

Sept. 29 at Maryland

Oct. 6 at Miami (Fla.)

Oct. 13 at Mississippi State

Oct. 20 at Alabama State

Oct. 27 OPEN

Nov. 3 OPEN

Nov. 10 OPEN

Nov. 17 Jacksonville State