Trojans look to blast rival UAB

Published 1:33 am Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Iron Bowl is not the only Alabama rivalry game that has the state divided.

For the second-straight season, and third time since 2006, Troy will renew its rivalry with in-state foe UAB, as the Trojans venture to Birmingham for another out of conference game before heading into Sun Belt play next week.

Troy will be looking to bounce back after a disappointing road loss to Oklahoma State, where the Trojans fought hard despite losing several leads, as the Cowboys would sneak out with a 41-38 win.

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The tone for how this week would be was set minutes after the loss in the locker room by the Trojan head coach.

“I told our kids in the locker room, you’re passionate and play hard enough, you just have got to put it all together,” Larry Blakeney said. “You have got to be on top of your mental game. We play hard. We play fast on both sides of the ball. We’re going to be a pretty good team. We’ve got a chance to win. We’ve got a chance to win the games we’ve got to win for sure.”

Now, the Trojans will get that chance to get back on track.

This is the eighth meeting between the two teams, with Troy holding a 4-3 series lead.

The last time the Trojans traveled north to the “Magic City” was back in 2006, when the Blazers cruised to a 21-3 victory at Legion Field.

Last season, the men of Troy were able to get some revenge thanks to a home victory of their own, winning 27-14.

“This has become a pretty good rivalry,” Blakeney said.

“I know (UAB) is looking for a win, and we are trying to get back on track. It’s one of those in-state games, and hopefully our guys will be excited about playing and preparing and getting better.”

Playing against other teams from Alabama has boded well for Blakeney and his teams throughout the years, as the coach will be looking to improve his record against teams from the state to a 31-6.

Helping him try to accomplish that feat will be quarterback Corey Robinson.

In just his second career start, the red-shirt freshman threw for 272 yards and three touchdowns against OSU, and will be looking to do more of the same today.

“It was a great experience playing a Big 12 school and in front of that many people,” he said. “I think that’s going to help me in the future.

“(The loss) is behind us now though. I think we are going to be ready for UAB – we’ve got to be ready to go.

“It’s a rivalry game, and those are always tough,” he added.

The Blazers are hoping however that things go the way they did four years ago.

While Troy enters the game with a 1-1 record, that is one more win than UAB currently has, as it fell to Florida Atlantic by a point in the season home opener and SMU the following week on the road.

In order for the Trojans to avoid helping the Blazers out, Blakeney said there were several aspects of the game where his team has to capitalize in.

“Our focus is that we have got to eliminate some mistakes,” the coach said.

“We have got to get lined up on defense, and we’ve got to take care of the ball a little better. It’s called coaching and playing. They get to do it, we get to do it. Three o’ clock in Legion Field, a pretty famous place.”