Trojans ready for SEC opponent

Published 12:31 am Saturday, September 17, 2011

After a week of dwelling on the heartbreaking loss to Clemson in the season opener, the Troy football team is eager to hit the field and earn their redemption from week one. To do so the Trojans must go up against an explosive Southeastern Conference opponent Arkansas.

“It’s like watching a horror movie when you’re watching tape on them knowing you have to go up against them,” said head coach Larry Blakeney. “They have a good solid approach and a lot of weapons. The speed element of their whole team is certainly impressive.”

Arkansas enters Week 3 at 2-0 having knocked off Missouri State, 51-7, and New Mexico, 52-3. The Razorbacks have looked monstrous on all sides of the ball thus far this season ranking eighth in the NCAA in total offense and sixteenth in total defense.

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Special teams have especially been a nightmare for teams facing Arkansas this season. Last week against New Mexico, Arkansas punt returner Joe Adams returned two punts for touchdowns and totaled 173 yards in punt returns. Wide receiver Marquel Wade also returned a kickoff for an 85-yard touchdown.

“You have to have a plan for their punt returner. Their talent definitely gives you problems. We’re hoping to angle punts away or use rugby punts which normally work well against aggressive returners. We have to be aggressive with what we do,” Blakeney said.

Despite the aggressive display by Arkansas, the Trojans are still ready to build off of an extra week of preparation.

“This is an opportunity for us to get better and see how we match up against an SEC football team on both sides of the team and in special teams,” said quarterback Corey Robinson.

Robinson will be leading his offence into another hostile environment this weekend as he looks to build on his 258 passing yard performance at Clemson. The sophomore quarterback threw 24 complete passes in 42 attempts with one interception to a much more inexperienced offense than he had grown accustomed to last season.

“We’re young but we have a bunch of fighters,” said Robinson. “We are much more of a team right now and we are going to continue to push forward. We have to cut out the mental mistakes on offense. Mental mistakes cost us at Clemson and we know that, we just have to continue to get better every day.”

Troy is hoping that an extra week to prepare for the game will supply them with just enough of an advantage to walk away with the much sought after SEC road upset. Arkansas will also have to follow the Troy game in Week 3 with their first conference match up with Alabama, giving Troy an opportunity to strike.

“With great challenges come great opportunities,” said Blakeney.

The Trojans will kick off against the Razorbacks Saturday at 6:30 pm. The game will be televised on CSS/CST.