Trojans start looking for rescheduling options

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 14, 2001

Sports Editor

With the now assured cancellation of this weekend’s Troy State-Appalachian State game, the only question now to be asked is when will it be recheduled?

Or, considering the problems in finding a corresponding open date with an opponent’s schedule, will it take place at all?

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The Trojans were supposed to play host to the Mountaineers this weekend in Troy’s Memorial Stadium. This Saturday was supposed to be Troy State’s first home game and a chance to redeem themselves in front of area fans, following two big losses on the road.

Three hijacked airplanes and attacks on two American landmarks, New York City’s World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon in Washington D.C., ended that.

But college football, like all of sports in general, has become trivial since Tuesday’s attacks.

TSU head coach Larry Blakeney understands that.

"Obviously, our players were hoping to play," Blakeney said. "But they understand the magnitude of the recent events and how they relate to all of us as Americans. There will be another day to play football. We support the decision. It was the right one in light of the other cancellations this week. If it was left up to me, though, we would play."

Now comes the hard part. Working out a way to play App State while keeping the rest of the Trojans’ schedule intact. If not, Troy State could end up playing its first ten-game season since 1990.

In reality though, it wouldn’t be as difficult as some think to reschedule the game against the Mountaineers.

Troy State has an open date following next week’s home game against Nicholls State. Saturday, Sept. 29 also corresponds with the open date of one of the Trojans’ biggest instate rivals, namely the Jacksonville State Gamecocks.

TSU is supposed to host the Gamecocks on Nov. 17 in Memorial Stadium, but it would involve the cooperation of both schools to move the game up to Sept. 29.

Blakeney worried that the game, which has concluded the regular season for both schools in the past four years, having to be moved up would present a problem to some of the alumni.

"This rivalry has an intense history," he said. "I think if it was up to just me and (JSU head coach) Jack (Crowe), we’d do it in a heartbeat."

"Of course the way Jack and his team are playing right now, I don’t know if I want to play him this early," added Blakeney.

JSU defeated Cumberland 72-10 and Nicholls State 34-15 to open the 2001 season.

An ealier "Battle for the Ole’ School Bell" would free up Troy State to play the Mountaineers for the final game of the regular season on Nov. 17.

ASU has no open date between Sept. 22 and Nov. 10.