Blakeney not overlooking Colonels

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 25, 2000

Sports Editor

Nicholls State comes into Richard M. Scrushy Field at Memorial Stadium sporting a 1-7 record overall and an 0-4 mark in the Southland Football League.

Which makes the Colonels seem like the perfect homecoming opponent for the Troy State Trojans (5-2, 2-1).

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But TSU head coach Larry Blakeney feels otherwise.

"The coaching staff at Nicholls State is probably doing the best coaching job in the SFL right now," said Blakeney. "They are a good football team that is sort of on the mend right now. A very stupid football player and coach would overlook Nicholls State. They are playing effectively and getting a lot out of their players."

The Colonels have led in the fourth quarter against fifth-ranked Northwestern State and Stephen F. Austin, only two lose late in both games. Last week, Nicholls State was tied with the Lumberjacks 20-20 with five minutes left to play, but a 1-yard run by SFA quarterback Wes Pate with 2:37 to play sealed the game in a 27-20 loss.

"The difference between them being 2-2 and 0-4 in the league is probably their lack of depth. They look to get tired in the late stages of their games," said Blakeney. "I don’t expect to blow them out, but I do expect to win."

Blakeney doesn’t expect the fact that it’s homecoming to interfere with his team’s preparation.

"Homecoming is usually when we have one our biggest crowds and there’s a lot of ceremony and pageantry surrounding the game," he said. " The players like to get involved with some of the activities and I encourage them to do so. We just have to make sure we top it off with a win on Saturday."

Offensively, the Trojans probably had their worst game of the season last week against Sam Houston State. Troy State gained just 205 total yards, which included only 73 yards passing.

"On offense we found a way to not score points when we should have scored," Blakeney said. "It didn’t look like we were quite all on the same page and a slight miscue by one player can hurt the effort of the other ten."

One thing Blakeney and his team is glad to see is their home stadium. Five of the Trojans last seven games have been away from Memorial Stadium.

"The road is tough," Blakeney said. "Now we’re on a home and away schedule for the next four games. We’ve just got to get prepared and go out and play them and continue to improve."