Trojans look to lasso Cowboys
What began in 2007 in Troy will finish this afternoon in Stillwater, OK.
For the third time in four seasons, the Troy Trojans and the Oklahoma State Cowboys will meet on the gridiron, concluding a series that has seen both sides take home a victory.
Now, the Trojans will look to do what it was unable to do in 2008, by getting a win in front of a hostel Big XII crowd and in the process taking the series with a win in the rubber match.
“I wish we were playing this game at home,” head coach Larry Blakeney said with a laugh earlier in the week about the trip to Oklahoma.
“We would like to be one of those schools that get to play eight home games and pick and chose who you want to beat early.
“This is going to be a tough opportunity for us,” the coach added.
“Their home crowd at their place, and they are a pretty dog-gone good football team.”
This will be the 12th time the Trojans and faced off with a team from the Big XII, coming in with a 2-9 record.
On the opposing side of the field, the Cowboys are 23-2 against Sun Belt opponents.
The last time the two teams met was two seasons ago, in Stillwater, where the Cowboys did whatever it wanted against the Trojans, as it cruised to a 55-24 victory.
In that game, Zac Robinson and Dez Bryant connected on three touchdowns, leading the OSU offense to 612 total yards.
In that game, the Cowboys also rushed for over 300 yards, and are the last team to do so against a Trojan defense.
Like the second meeting, the first matchup was a one-sided affair, as former Trojan quarterback Omar Haugabook passed for a career-high 371 yards and a touchdown, while rushing for another 49 yards and adding two more scores as Troy won 41-23 at home.
Troy out gained OSW 562 to 432 in total yards of offense.
“They may be a little different than they were a couple years ago when we played them, because they run the football better now,” Blakeney said.
“When you can run the football 250 to 300 yards, you have a chance to give some folks real problems offensively with play action passes setting up one-on-one opportunities.
The Troy defense will look to keep those problems minimized, as the Cowboys running back, Kendall Hunter, will look to duplicate his 257 yards, four-touchdown performance against Washington St. today.
Another player, who is looking to have a repeat performance from week one, is Troy wide receiver Jerrel Jernigan.
Against Bowling Green, the senior helped his team out thanks to both his hands and his legs, as he rushed for 58 yards and a touchdown off five carries, and caught six passes for 40 yards.
And like his coaches, Jernigan said a big part of today’s game would take place both on the field and in the stands.
“We are going to have to be ready for the fans,” he said. “They’re crazy there.
“We feel ok (going into the game). The defense has got some stuff to correct. The offense has got some stuff to correct. We will go out this week and get our corrections straight – on special teams too. It’s a big chance to go down there and try to get a ‘W’,” Jernigan added.
As he was in the first game, the Troy signal-caller will be Corey Robinson.
In his first career start, the red shirt freshman three for 252 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions, however, said he knows the level of competition is going to be a bit higher in his second game.
“I’m excited, it’s my first big-time opponent,” he said. “It’s what I play the game for – to try and go out there and get a big win against a Big XII school.
“I’ll be nervous, but I think that is going to happen every game. If we go out there and play our game and don’t make any mistakes, we can come away with a victory,” the quarterback added.
The two teams will get things underway tonight in Stillwater, with a kickoff scheduled for 6:05 p.m.
The game will not be televised, but you can listen to it on the Troy ISP Sports Network.