Published 12:00 am Monday, September 14, 2009
The Troy Trojans began the week, preparing to do something it has yet to do all season long – play in front of its home crowd and win a game.
Troy, who is 0-2 after a 56-6 loss to the University of Florida, now prepares for in state rival University of Alabama-Birmingham, who is 1-1, on Saturday.
Head coach Larry Blakeney said at this weekly press conference Monday this is a very important game for his team.
“This is a crucial game to win. Everyone is hungry for it.”
“I think our kids are ready for a win – we do need to taste victory because we go right back on the road [after the Saturday’s game].
“We put [Florida] behind us – hopefully,” Blakeney added. “It was a tough experience.”
The Trojan offense struggled for a second consecutive week, managing just 139 total yards and was held out of the end zone the entire game.
In doing so, the offense extended its touchdown drought to six straight quarters following the game.
In the two game losing steak, Troy has been outscored 87-20.
“The guys are not to tense and overall I am pretty pleased with the attitude [of the offense] right now,” starting quarterback Levi Brown said.
“There aren’t going to be any changes to the offense – the potential is still there, we just haven’t shown it.”
Brown is 36-68 for 329 yards and one touchdown this season.
On the defensive side of the ball, the 56 points allowed was the most since 2007, the last time the Trojans played the Gators.
Florida’s 663 yards were the most ever allowed by a Trojan team as well.
However, the Trojans are about to get a defensive boost.
All-Conference linebacker and Lombardi Award watch list member, Bear Woods is returning to the field on Saturday.
Wood was ruled ineligible for the first two gamed of this season because of red shirt violations during his freshman years in 2006.
“It was like torture,” Woods said about not being able to play in the first two games.
“I’m ready to explode on Saturday,” the linebacker said with a smile.
Woods finished with 108 tackles and two sacks in 2008.
This will be the seventh time the two rivals have met, with the last time coming back in 2006, when the Blazers beat Troy in Birmingham, 21-6.
Both teams have won three games, however UAB has won the last two.
“We’ve gotten the short end of the stick in the series the last couple times we played,” Blakeney said.
“We had a very lackluster performance last time we played them [in 2006]. We are trying to get in preparation for the offense and the defense [early in the week] and solidify a good plan for [the Blazers.]
One Blazer player that Blakeney mentioned was quarterback Joe Webb.
So far this season, Webb has completed 30 of his 50 passes for 447 passing yards, four touchdowns and four interceptions.
“[Webb] is big and can see the field well,” Blakeney said.
“We don’t need to think for one minute that he is not good enough to beat Troy.”
Blakeney compared Webb to the quarterback the Trojans just saw – Tim Tebow.
“They both of the same tools,” the coach said.
“They both can beat you through the air or on the ground and they both fill that leadership role.”
Webb was named to the Unitas Golden Arm Watch List at the beginning of the season.
“For this home game, we really want to put our best team out there,” Blakeney said.
“We got every bit of motivation to be as good as we can be. All of us are looking forward to this game.”
The Trojans will kick off opening day at Movie Gallery Veteran Stadium with Trojan Wak at 12:30 p.m. followed by the game at 2:30 p.m.