Middle on TSU minds

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 3, 2003

The Troy State football team certainly is not brimming with confidence this week.

The Trojans have not scored on the road since a 20-9 win over UAB on Sept. 13, and the losses to injuries and off-the-field problems have whittled a once-promising season down to a twilight glimmer of hope.

Though the road does not get any easier this week, it does get a little shorter. The Trojans (4-5) have only a bus ride to Murfreesboro, Tenn., this week to take on the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders (2-7). The game will kick off Saturday at 6 p.m. and will be aired locally by WRJM UPN -67 of Montgomery.

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"No question, our team and coaches are lacking confidence," TSU head coach Larry Blakeney said. "We have the same offense that scored all but one touchdown of the 33 against Marshall. It all goes back to errors, coaching and taking coaching.

"The heartbeat of a team is sometimes not a tangible thing. The team, how the team feels about each other, how they pull for each other and how the team is a team is affected by external things, wins and losses, injuries, lack of leadership, lack of coaching and youth could all aggravate that chemistry. Our philosophy is one that puts high premium on the student-athlete. That is the philosophy we are going to try to live on. Right now we need to feel better about each other, our players, our coaches."

Blakeney said he considers this week's game to be of extreme importance. Middle Tennessee has every right to be considered a true rival for Troy State.

The Blue Raiders are geographically close to the Trojans, they are a future conference foe and they have a history against TSU. Of course, most of the history is written in blue ink because MTSU owns a 9-1 all-time record against the Trojans.

"This is a big game for us," Blakeney said. "We recruit against them, and they recruit against us. We need to win this game for many reasons."

Middle Tennessee won the last meeting 54-17 in 2001, the Trojans' first year of I-A competition.

In other news Troy State wide receiver Zsan Robinson is still in Texas following surgeries to his knee. Blakeney said he did not expect Robinson to be able to return until the end of the week.

"I talked to Zsan this morning and he is still in the hospital in Dallas," Blakeney said. "The way I understand, the surgery was successful and he has a pulse in his leg and is being checked periodically throughout the day to make sure he is doing well. He had the superstructure screwed into his leg so he can get blood flow to his lower leg and they can surgically repair his leg. I expect him to be out there most of the week.

"Whether he will ever play the game again is not important. The most important thing is that he makes a full recovery and can walk and carry on a normal life. That is our main goal and concern in this case."