Troy looks to clinch Sun Belt

Published 11:29 pm Friday, November 20, 2009

One more conference win is all the Troy Trojans need before it can book plane tickets back to a familiar place – New Orleans.

With a win today over visiting Florida Atlantic, the Trojans will secure its fourth straight Sun Belt championship.

However, before Troy begins dreaming about the post season, it has to get past an Owls team that has dealt the Trojans trouble in the past.

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Even though Troy has a 5-1 all-time record against FAU, the one loss, which came back during the 2007 season, cost the Trojans the outright conference and in the process a right to go to New Orleans.

Last season when these two teams met, Troy was able to get some revenge thanks to a 30-17 victory, but lost then starting quarterback Jamie Hampton to injury after a late hit.

“These games [with FAU] are always competitive,” head coach Larry Blakeney said.

“We better be ready to face a great football team – we cannot let what happened two years ago happen again.”

The Trojans enter into the conference test coming off a 56-20 loss to the Arkansas last weekend.

The loss dropped Troy’s overall record to 7-3.

The team’s conference record is quite the opposite however, as the team is currently 6-0 in Sun Belt play.

The Owls are 3-6 overall, and 3-2 in league play.

“We don’t want to have to rely on someone else,” Blakeney said.

“We want to take care of our own business and be done with it. Our passion is to win games like this.

“It would be nice to celebrate a win like this on our own field with hopefully a lot of the Trojan faithful celebrating with us,” he added.

Besides championship ramifications, the game will also be special for 28 players.

Today’s game will not only be the last home game of the season, but also Senior Night.

“This game is the whole season right here,” senior line backer Bear Woods said.

“There is a lot of history between us and [FAU]. It has turned out into a great rivalry – I wouldn’t want to play anyone else in this position,” he added.

Over the past four seasons, this group of Trojans has been one of the most successful in the program’s history.

In the past four seasons, the group has combined for a 31-17 overall record, including a 24-3 record in the Sun Belt.

This group also has a 17-2 record at Movie Gallery Veterans Stadium, with its last loss coming to the hands of the Owls back in 2007.

“We will be ready for this game,” Woods said.

The Trojans and the Owls will meet in the Gallery today, with a kick off scheduled for 3:15 p.m.