Trojans hope to salvage season after tough losses

Published 9:46 pm Tuesday, November 23, 2010

It has been a tough last couple of weeks for the Troy Trojans.

There is really nowhere for the team in cardinal and white to go but up from here as the team is coming off its second-straight blow out loss, this time at the hands of the South Carolina Gamecocks.

The SEC East Champion wasted little time in dispatching Troy, as the No. 18 team in the country cruised to a 69-24 victory.

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“We are certainly stinging,” head coach Larry Blakeney said about the recent Trojan games at the weekly press conference Monday afternoon.

“(Saturday) was one of those nightmarish circumstances. You really don’t believe what you are seeing as it happens. We started to do some good things in the second half, nothing that really scared (South Carolina) but we were able to be a little productive towards the end.

“We will find out where we go from here,” the coach added. “We had good meetings on Sunday. Now, we just have to regroup.”

Very rarely has a Trojan defense allowed the kind of numbers displayed on the scoreboard the past two weeks.

In the games against FIU and South Carolina, Troy has given up a record 121 points.

This is the just sixth time in the school’s history that a team has given up 100 combined points and the 121 points allowed is the most since 1928, when Troy allowed 117 points to Jacksonville State and Marion Military Institute.

The 351 total points allowed this season is the second most all-time, trailing last season’s team, which finished with 387 total points allowed.

This is just the third time in school history that a Trojan has allowed 300 points in a season, with the other taking place in 1994.

To make matters worse for the defense, one of its starters is no longer on team.

Junior linebacker Donnell Golden has left the Trojans for personal reasons.

“Donnell has left the team,” Blakeney said.

“I begged him to stay but he felt like this is the right decision for him and I wish him well.”

Golden played in every game leading up to South Carolina, and started in seven and had 35 tackles, 27 of which were solo, one forced fumble and one interception.

One of the hardest aspects of Saturday’s game, besides watching what was going on between the lines, took place at the half.

“Our kids were really down at halftime,” Blakeney said. “(The score) was as hard of one that I ever had to cope with.

“You want to know what a hellish situation is? Spending time trying to figure out what to say to your guys after two bad quarters. I told the guys we needed to find something out of this game that we can use for the rest of the season. I know it may not look like we could get anything out of that game, but I think we did. We needed to salvage something. That was a very good football team across the field, and they showed it.”

Thanks to the loss, the Trojans are stilling looking for one more win to become bowl eligible.

The team’s current record is 5-5, which marks the first time Troy has suffered five losses since the 2008 season.

When asked about where the team sits as far as a bowl invitation, the Troy head coach said he had no idea what was going to happen for the Trojans in the postseason.

Ultimately though, this past Saturday’s result will not have any effect on whether Troy goes to a bowl game or not.

What will are the final two conference games the Trojans have lined up against Western Kentucky and Florida Atlantic.

“Either one can beat us,” the coach said.

“I think from here on out its all pretty equal. But I think that if we win both games, we have a really shot at going to a bowl game. If that happens, obviously, we will be elated. We got to find a way to get a ‘W,’” Blakeney said.