Out of the ashes?

Published 12:00 am Monday, September 21, 2009

The Troy Trojans are coming off its first victory of the season as it heads into conference play against Sun Belt foe, Arkansas State University.

Monday at the team’s weekly press conference, Troy head coach Larry Blakeney talked about the team’s win and what is to be expected this upcoming weekend in Jonesboro, Ark.

“I thought Levi [Brown] did a great job anticipating breaks and leading his receivers,” Blakeney said.

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“We felt good about throwing the football – we got some people to come to the dance [referring to the wide receivers].”

10 different receivers had receptions during Saturday’s win.

Sophomore Chip Reeves led the way with five receptions for 95 yards and a touchdown while junior Tebiarus Gill also had a big game, finishing with four receptions for 69 yards and a touchdown.

“We made a point to start throwing down the field,” senior quarterback Levi Brown said. “We knew we needed to do that.”

Brown finished the game throwing for over 413 yards and added two touchdown passes along the way.

That effort was good enough to give Brown the Sun Belt Offensive Player of the Week award.

In the process of winning, the Trojans, who are currently 1-2, were also busy breaking records – but not a record that most would want to see fall.

Troy broke a school record for most penalties in a game, committing 17.

Along with the penalties, the Trojans also fumbled the ball four times, recovering three of them.

“We need some glue,” Blakeney said.

“Making sure the ball is secure is a big part of the game. We are going to put a lot of emphasis about carrying the football this week.”

This will be the 12th meeting between the Trojans and the Red Wolves, with ASU, currently 1-1) holding a leading the all-time-series 7-4.

The last time these two teams met was last fall in Troy, in a game that would ultimately decided the Sun Belt

ASU hopes that home field advantage will play a factor in the game as it has done in the past.

The Red Wolves are 5-2 against the Trojans the past seven times the two teams have met in Jonesboro.

“They are one of the contenders of this league,” Blakeney said.

“Going up there is not an easy task and playing them is not an easy task – they are a well coached football team.”

One of the reasons why this could be a difficult game for the Trojans is because of ASU’s quarterback Corey Leonard.

In three games against the Trojans, Leonard has thrown for 465 yards and two touchdowns but has also been intercepted four times and been sacked six.

“[Leonard] is very good,” Blakeney said.

“He made a lot of plays against us the last couple times we saw him. If he is hot, he will be tough to stop.”

The defense should be up to the task however.

After giving up the most yards in the program’s history against Florida with 663, the defense led by Bear Woods and Boris Lee held the Blazers to just 285.

“We made some plays overall, but after looking back at the game the points we allowed were because of simple mistakes,” Lee said.

“Conference games are a big deal – we have to go out and win,” Lee added.

Saturday’s game marked the return of Woods, who had to sit out the first two games of the season because of an NCAA suspension.

“Hopefully with the win, we will be able to keep the momentum going,” Woods said.

“[ASU] is a tough team with great athletes. This game sets us up for the rest of the year.”

The Trojans and the Red Wolves will meet in the first conference game of the season in Jonesboro with a kickoff scheduled for 3:30 p.m.

The game will be televised on the Sun Belt Network.