Trojans have short week after loss

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 11, 2000

Sports Editor

Back-to-back losses dropped the Troy State Trojans to 12th in this week’s Sports Network Poll and 13th in the ESPN/USA Today coaches poll.

Ranked No. 1 in the nation and riding high after a 62-19 win over Alabama State a few short weeks ago,

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

the Trojans have since fallen to South Florida and last week to Southland Football League foe Northwestern State.

Two consecutive losses are a bitter pill for TSU

head coach Larry Blakeney to swallow.

"We haven’t had back-to-back losses around here in awhile," Blakeney said. "The player’s are concerned and I am to."

Starting off 0-1 in league play is something which Blakeney and his staff didn’t figure on. The Trojans fell behind to the Demons last weekend by 14 points, but fought their way back to within a touchdown of tying it in the fourth quarter. Twice, in the final minutes of the game, the TSU offense was stopped at the goaline on fourth down, allowing Northwestern to take a 24-17 victory.

"There’s limitations of what you can do down there on the goaline," said Blakeney. "We didn’t execute properly. Had we executed everything right from an assignment standpoint, we probably would have scored a touchdown on at least one of those occasions."

This week will be a short one for Blakeney and his team. Troy State returns home to face Southwest Texas on Thursday night. The game will be televised by FOX Sports Net and will kickoff at 6:30 p.m.

"We have to make this short week a positive for us, because right now we need a win," said Blakeney. "We’ve got to win out if we want a league championship."

Blakeney feels another loss doesn’t hurt the Trojans chances when it comes to postseason play.

"With the playoffs you’re dealing with a committee and strength of schedule is also a factor," he said. "I feel an 8-3, with the kind of schedule we’ve played and all the road games we’ve had, puts us in."

Right now, however, the focus turns to the Bobcats, who are 3-1 and 1-0 in the SFL after beating Nicholls State last Saturday, 25-0.

"They’ll show a lot of eight-man front on defense and they’re very blitz-orientated," said Blakeney. "They knocked the Louisiana-Monroe quarterback out of the game two weeks ago and he was a pretty tough kid."

Troy State will be without junior playmaker Demontray Carter this Thursday night. Carter suffered a strained medial collateral ligament (MCL) in his knee during first quarter action against the Demons and will miss this week and likely the next.

But Saturday, just when the Demons thought it was safe to shutdown the Trojans’ running game, sophomore LeBarron Black put on the finest performance of his career, rushing 21 times for 140 yards and scoring one touchdown.

"I told LeBarron after his touchdown run (44-yards) that I hadn’t seen many runs like that," said Blakeney. "I think he broke about five or six tackles. He was superhuman at times."

The Trojans’ offense outgained the Demons 402-251 during the game. Junior quarterback Brock Nutter passed for 227 yards and completed several deep and difficult pass completions to receivers Heyward Skipper and Jonathan Carter, helping lead his team down the field in the second half.

"Brock may have played his best game ever," said Blakeney. "He’s become our leader out there."