Trojans Bayou trip

Published 11:48 pm Thursday, November 13, 2008

For the second time in five years, the Troy Trojans head to Death Valley to square off with the LSU Tigers and Troy hopes to finish what they started in 2004.

LSU is the defending BCS National Champion, as they were in 2004. Troy nearly grabbed their second upset victory of the season with a 24-20 loss in ‘04. The Trojans had already upset the then No. 17 Missouri Tigers.

No matter the circumstances, Troy head coach Larry Blakeney said Monday at the weekly press conference that the coincidences are just that, coincidences.

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“I have really thought about (our return trip to LSU) and it is a different setup and we are different coaches than in that game,” Blakeney said. “And this time they are coming off a loss and will be motivated to beat us.”

But the players are ready to take on LSU. There seemed to be a consensus among those players brought to the microphone Monday of grabbing that one big non-conference win of the season.

Starting quarterback Levi Brown can’t wait for Saturday.

“I am really excited about (playing in Death Valley) and I am looking forward to it,” Brown said. “We played Ohio State earlier this year and they had 100,000 or so fans and we played Florida last year. We are excited for another big game.”

Senior free safety Tavares Williams also can’t wait to hit the field against the Tigers.

“They are not playing good right now, but they have a lot of athletes and they will be ready for us Saturday,” Williams said. “We just need to come out and be physical and see what happens. We want to get one of those marquee games on our schedule to get our confidence up.”

Troy is coming off a 17-7 Homecoming win over Western Kentucky University and the LSU Tigers are coming off a 27-21 overtime loss to No. 1 Alabama. Both teams take a break from their conference schedules to face each other, but Brown said he does not see this game as a break.

“I don’t know how much of a break this game really is for us,” he said. “We know we have to win those last two conference games, but one of our preseason goals was to beat one of the big teams and this is our last chance to do that.”

Blakeney said the Trojans cannot worry about the opponent, but rather prepare for the game by getting their game plan together and working out the kinks on offense and defense.

He added that he would not hold any players out of the game to protect them unless they have preexisting injuries.

“We have never (held players out of non-conference games),” Blakeney said. “When you start fooling around with that stuff you hurt your football team. We will find a way to use the ones who are available and win the game.”