Published 3:35 pm Monday, September 7, 2009
After a disappointing start to the regular season, the Troy Trojans will look to bounce back in week two.
However, that task maybe a difficult one as the Trojans head to Gainesville, Fla. where they will face the defending NCAA champions, and current No. 1 team in the both the AP Top 25 and USA Today Coaching Poll – the Florida Gators.
“We have a lot to deal with [with Florida],” Troy head coach Larry Blakeney said at Monday’s press conference. “We are aware of what we got ahead of us.”
This will be the Trojans first trip to Ben Hill Griffin Stadium since 2007, where the Gators routed the Trojans 59-31.
Despite trailing at the half 49-10, Troy was able to find some success in the second half, outscoring Florida 24-10.
“We are going to do our best to put our best foot forward,” Blakeney added.
This will be Troy’s second road game in a row, coming off a 31-14 loss at Bowling Green last Thursday.
“I think we are OK,” starting quarterback Levi Brown said.
“I think we were good enough to win [last Thursday]. We have a good attitude coming into this week.”
After getting off to a 14-0 start, the Trojans allowed 31-unanswered points to the Falcons.
Brown threw two interceptions and the rushing attack only gained 41 yards on 21 carries. Troy’s leading rusher was junior wide receiver Jerrel Jernigan with 30 yards.
“It was a game of two halves,” Brown said.
“Things were going well for us in the first half, and in the second half things didn’t happen.
“They made adjustments, and we didn’t. We need to find a way to run the ball with more success – I was surprised how ineffective it was [against Bowling Green],” Brown added.
Before the season, there was a lot of hype surrounding this Trojan team and the kind of success they might experience.
Many players said that some of that hype may have affected the team coming into the game against Bowling Green.
“I think that loss brought us back down to Earth,” senior defensive lineman Brandon Lang said.
“Last week was disappointing, but it is a good way for us to learn from our mistakes.”
Florida is coming off a 62-3 win over Charleston Southern.
In that win, the Gators rushing attack ran for a program opening day best 369 yards and five touchdowns while Heisman Trophy hopeful, senior quarterback Tim Tebow completed 10-15 passes for 188 yards and a touchdown.
“Tim [Tebow] brings a lot to the table,” Blakeney said.
“We are going to do our best to stop him and do our best to play well.”
The coached went on to say that playing well including becoming multi-dimensional on offense, specifically with the running attack.
Defensively, Troy will again be without senior linebacker Bear Woods, who will be the serving the second game of his two game suspension due to a red shirt discrepancy back in 2006
“Of course, the plan is to put a lot of pressure up front,” Lang said about playing against the Gator offense. “We have to play smash mouth football for four quarters.”
“There is a lot of talent on this team, there is no hangover from last week – we are ready for the challenge,” Lang added.
The Trojans and the Gators will battle this upcoming Saturday with a kickoff time scheduled for 11:21 a.m.