Trojans face another open date

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 25, 2001

Sports Editor

With an average, but sluggish, performance against Nicholls State on Saturday, one could almost compare the Troy State offense to the TSU football team as a whole.

On again, off again.

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The Trojans now find themselves on the latter part of that statement. Prior to the beginning of the season, Sept. 29 was to be Troy State’s official off date. However, following the official cancellation of all college football games last weekend, it was hoped a replacement could be found for this Saturday.

Names came up. South Carolina. Marshall. Navy.

But no deal could be finalized.

Instead, the Trojans must endure their second Saturday in 21 days without a game to play.

Which may be a blessing in disguise considering their next opponent is top-ranked Miami.

"This is our chance to get better and work on Miami," said defensive back Rayshun Reed. "We can get our intensity up and get sound in every aspect of the game. The rest will be good and it will give us some time to heal any nagging injuries."

Offensive coordinator John Shannon still has things to work out with his offense. While showing a definite improvement since games against Nebraska and Middle Tennessee, Saturday’s version of the ‘Trojan Spread’ was by no means a perfect lesson in offensive execution.

"Offensively, we had four scoring drives that accomplished what we wanted to do," Shannon said. "We scored on the first possession of the game and the second half and that makes a coach feel good. I am not totally satisfied, but was pleased with what I saw. The receivers are getting better and continue to get better."

TSU head coach Larry Blakeney agreed.

"Offensively, we are still searching," he said. "We hit and miss and it seems like it goes to a different player every time we had a bad play. We still have a long way to go as a football team."

On defense, the Trojans were able to manage a 26-0 shutout over the Colonels despite Nicholls State outgaining Troy State, 286-265. But the defensive performance came at a cost as rotating middle linebacker Robby Farmer was lost for the season with a broken tibia, suffered in the second half of play.

"We were just trying to get the game over and I thought we were going to get through it without any injuries, when Robby got hurt," Blakeney said. "We’re going to try and get him a medical redshirt."

As for a make-up game, the Trojans will likely play either North Texas or Texas Tech. A game against Texas Tech would probably be on the road the weekend of Thanksgiving holidays on Nov. 24. North Texas could go either way and possibly be played in Memorial Stadium on Dec. 1.

"I’m not to keen on traveling anywhere during Thanksgiving holidays," said Blakeney. "North Texas is a Sun Belt Conference team and that’s a conference we’ve expressed interest in (joining)."