Trojans have to believe in Miami

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 5, 2001

Sports Columnist

The big stories this week are the Troy State-Miami game and will Barry Bonds break Mark McGwire’s home run record of 70 in a season?

The TSU-Miami game kicks off at 11 a.m. from the historic Orange Bowl in Miami, Fla. The game can be seen on the UPN Network, WRJN in Troy, Channel Four on your Troy Cable dial.

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The Hurricanes, ranked the No. 1 team in the country by both the Sports Writers (AP) and the Coaches Poll, could be the Trojans toughest opponent in history.

Can you believe it? TSU playing the No. 1 team in the country in the Orange Bowl. Yes, Troy State’s playing in the Orange Bowl. Who would have ever "thunk" it?

I’m proud as I can be, to tell you the truth, and I’ll be there with a big smile on my face.

The Trojans are a 51-point underdog going into the game, have practiced for two weeks and should be ready to shock the world.

Funnier things have happened in the game of college football, but not many.

A Trojan victory here would shock the world and that’s why I want to be there. I was there when Coach Don Maestri’s basketball team scored an unbelievable 258 points against Devry Institute of Atlanta.

I was there when Ted Clem kicked a 51 yard field goal with no time on the clock in McAllen, Texas to give TSU its first national championship over North Dakota State.

I was also sitting in Legion Field when Auburn blocked two punts and returned them for touchdowns in the last eight minutes of the game to beat heavily favored Alabama, 17-16, in 1972.

I really believe the good Lord was on the Tigers’ sideline that day.

Just think of the great upsets we’ve seen in college football over the years, but yet none would be bigger than Troy State beating Miami.

Troy State has an outstanding football program, great tradition, good players and a very good coaching staff and still no one in the country would believe it if our Trojans went down to Miami and won.

I’ve been trying to tell people for years that the quality of football played by the upper echelon teams in NCAA Division 1-AA could play with some of the top teams in Division 1-A. Of course, not many people believe me. I do know this, that the Miami’s, Nebraska’s, Virginia Tech’s, Oklahoma’s, Florida State’s and Florida’s of the world could probably beat some pro teams, they have so much talent.

Like Coach Paul "Bear" Bryant used to say, "no one can measure the size of a young man’s heart," but when it comes down to it, those days of little guys like Bear’s "runts" of the early 60s, are gone. Those little guys wouldn’t have much of a chance against the big, strong, fast and very athletic teams of today.

Don’t get me wrong, TSU has some big, fast and talented athletes themselves, but not in large numbers like Miami. On Saturday, Troy State will play has hard as they can, hopefully smart and error-free, but the numbers Miami has will probably be too much.

Regardless of the outcome, if our guys play hard and with the heart of a lion, I’ll be proud to be a Trojan in Miami on Saturday afternoon.

You never can tell. Just like at Nebraska, we had our moments and showed the country that we can play Division 1-A. But when you play the teams in the nation’s top ten, even the Alabama’s and Auburn’s would suffer a similar fate.

If Troy State doesn’t go to Miami with the belief that they can, with maximum effort, win the football game, I’ll be very disappointed.

Like an old coach of mine used to say, "you’ve got to believe!"

When David slew Goliath, you betcha he believed!"

I believe in my Troy State Trojans and will stand by them to the end! Go Troy State!

Barry Bonds will not get a single decent pitch to hit the rest of they year, (four games to play). You know why? No one wants to be the pitcher who gave up that record home run. It’s going to be interesting.

Remember, Trojans. You got to believe!