Saddling up

Published 12:00 am Monday, September 6, 2010

While it may not have been pretty at times, with Saturday’s last second victory over Bowling Green, the Troy Trojans were able to get off on the right foot for the new season.

Thanks a key interception late in the game by an unlikely player in defensive lineman Tony Davis, kicker Michael Taylor was able to sail a 34-yard field goal through the uprights send the Falcons back to Ohio empty handed.

“I was hoping it would be a good game,” Troy head coach Larry Blakeney said at the team’s press conference Monday afternoon.

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“(Bowling Green) is a well coached team, and they were ready and played a pretty good game.

“But the fact that we were resilient and didn’t panic showed a lot – we hung in there,” the coach added.

The biggest key to the win, the coach’s mind, was the Trojans’ ability to run the ball, and stop the run, successfully.

Between four different running backs, Troy was able to grind out 230 rushing yards on 44 attempts, while the Trojan defensive held the Falcons to just 128, on just 25 attempts.

“I thought going (into the game), the team that rushed the best and stopped the run would win,” Blakeney said.

“Fortunately, that’s how it turned out.”

Shawn Southward led the way for the Trojans, running for 74 yards and a touchdown.

The win was the head ball coach’s 20th home opening win, and the 155th of his career.

That resiliency Blakeney mentioned and ability to control both sides of the running game will play a big factor for Troy in its next game.

Week two of the season will see the Trojans travel to Stillwater, OK., to face off against the Oklahoma State Cowboys in the rubber match of a three-game series.

The first time the two teams met, Troy was able to run to a 41-23 victory at then Movie Gallery Veterans Memorial Stadium in 2007.

The Cowboys were able to exact some revenge a year later, with a 55-24 win in Stillwater.

“This is a good, tough opponent,” Blakeney said. “They are a dog-gone good team.

“They always have a good home crowd and they are well coached, I like Mike (Gundy) a lot.

“I feel like the things we learned (in the BG game) will be things that can help us, especially on defense,” the coach added. “Having to strain yourself to win has got to make you better.”

While the Trojans were able to stop the Falcon running attack, the defense is hoping the Cowboys are just as unsuccessful.

In the last meeting, OSU was just the opposite however, as it was the last team to rush for over 300 yards or more against Troy.

While the defense will be looking to stop a Cowboy team that put up 65 points 544 total yards of offense against Washington State, the Trojan offense will be looking to build off the success it endured against Bowling Green, especially in the fourth quarter.

Red shirt freshman quarterback, Corey Robinson, will be making his second career colligate start in Boone Pickens Stadium.

And while he said he made a few mistakes in the season opener, he is prepared to help get his team a win.

“I felt ready (against Bowling Green),” he said Monday afternoon.

“I am excited (about playing Oklahoma State). This is my first big time game and this is why you play football.

“If we play our game and don’t make any mistakes, we’ll get a win,” he added.

In his first start, Robinson threw for 252 yards, two shy of breaking the school’s record for most yards in a first start, and added a touchdown and two interceptions.

“I feel like I did everything you can do in a game,” he said with a laugh.

“My coaches had a lot of confidence in me though and really kept me up when I struggled.”

The Trojans will look to take two of three from the Cowboys this Saturday in Stillwater, with a kickoff scheduled for 6 p.m.