Troy’s sense of pride

Published 7:11 pm Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Bear Woods and the Troy Trojans defense are itching to get on the field and lay the smack down on the Oklahoma State Cowboys for a second straight year.

“When I looked at the schedule, I knew this would be one of our toughest games of the season,” Woods, a junior Troy linebacker, said. “Because they will be hungry for the Troy Trojans.”

OSU will be hungry for redemption of a 41-23 beating at the hands of the Trojans last year in Troy.

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“They will treat us as a big non-conference opponent this year,” Woods said. “We have their respect and they will be examining each of us on defense. They have a target for us.”

Troy has the 25th best scoring defense in the nation at 15 points per game. They also have the fifth best passing defense with 129 yards per game allowed and 11th best total defense at 237.7 yards allowed per game.

On the flip side, the Cowboys are posting 546 total offensive yards per game, good for fifth best. They have put up 334.3 rushing yards per game, which is second best.

OSU also averages 50.7 points per game, good for fifth.

Troy head coach Larry Blakeney said the Trojans are ready for the trip west.

“There are a lot of things you could point your fingers at, but the buck stops here,” Blakeney said. “We all have our responsibilities and I am responsible for (the whole team). We will fight as hard as we can to bring a win back.”

When the Trojans hit the field, they will be down a key piece on the defensive line. Senior defensive end Kenny Mainor left last week’s loss at Ohio State with an ACL injury.

“We lost Kenny Mainor, which I think is a tremendous loss,” Blakeney said. “He is one of the smartest football players I have ever coached defensively. He is also a guy who made plays. So it is tragic for him and tragic for us.”

Blakeney said junior Jeremy Hawkins, sophomore John Mark Patrick and freshman Brandon Boudreaux will see increased time in Mainor’s absence.

The Trojans may be down a defensive lineman, but Blakeney said his team is ready to travel to Stillwater this weekend. Kickoff is set for 6:05 p.m. CDT. The game will not be televised and Big 12 Conference TV contracts will not allow Web streaming of the game.