Trojans look to bounce back at home

Published 12:03 am Saturday, September 25, 2010

For the third time in four seasons, the Troy Trojans will enter its fourth game of the season, with two losses.

Thanks to back-to-back losses against Oklahoma State and UAB by a combined four points the last two weeks, the Trojans will now find themselves back home at Veterans Memorial Stadium for the start of Sun Belt play.

Even though starting the season under .500 is never a goal for any team, Troy has been in this position before and succeeded.

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Four times prior to the 2010 season, the Trojans have started 1-3, with three of those years ending with the Trojans holding up the conference championship.

The men of Troy will look to make it a fourth time today, starting with Arkansas State.

Like the home team, the Red Wolves come enter the game with a 1-2 record, losing to Auburn and Louisiana-Lafayette in its first two game before defeating Louisiana-Monroe last weekend.

Earlier in the week, Troy head coach Larry Blakeney said Saturday’s game was going to be a difficult game, but one the team needed to get back on track with. “I was taught a long time ago that you don’t cry over spilt milk, and this milk is spilt,” the coach said of the first two losses.

“We’ve got Arkansas State coming in off of a win. I have a very high regard for (ASU head coach) Steve Roberts. He’ll have his team ready. We’ve gotten the best of them the past two or three times.

“(Saturday’s game is) a very good match-up for (ASU) because we’re certainly in a state of disarray up front on defense with injuries and inexperience. We have got to get our guys to take and regurgitate coaching. We’re not getting it done as far as assignments,” the coach added.

This will be the 13th meeting all-time in the series between the two teams, with ASU holding a 7-5 lead.

The Trojans have won the last three games in the series however, and in Troy each team has won two games.

Despite the two losses, the Trojans will enter conference play on a 10-game Sun Belt winning streak, and Blakeney is hoping the success his team has had recently against the teams that are the most important continues today.

“We’re in the Sun Belt, and we’ve got a home game. We don’t lose a lot of home games, not meaning anything. I don’t want to mislead them,” he said. “(ASU) is coming in here and can beat anybody they line up against if they execute well. They certainly had a good game against Monroe this past week. We’re going to try to get them going,” Blakeney added.

There is another statistic that is in Troy’s favor.

Since the team made the job to Division 1 in the 2001 season, the Trojans are 40-5 when they play at home – a winning percentage of .888.

Only Oklahoma, University of South California and Ohio State have a better home winning percentage.

Still, the Trojan must be able win today to get both records intact.

“This is a money game,” quarterback Corey Robinson said. “This really counts this week.

“I can’t emphasize to the guys enough. They know the importance, and they have been here longer than I have.

“We start the “Drive for Five” this Saturday. Arkansas State is a really good football team, and they have been putting up some numbers. I haven’t seen much on their defense. They always have a good defensive line. We have got come ready to play Saturday,” he added.