Troy celebrates homecoming against North Texas

Published 12:25 am Saturday, November 12, 2011

Four straight losses is unfamiliar territory for the Troy football team. It has left an atmosphere of frustration especially among the Trojan fans, but with four games left the team is still striving to make the most of what is left of their 2011 season.

“Be positive, that’s what we’re trying to do,” said head coach Larry Blakeney on Monday at the weekly football news conference.

“It’s frustration more than anything. There are a lot of people trying to encourage and motivate folks. Winning a game is the best medicine and the best method. It’s easy to be a up, it’s easy to be a leader, it’s easy to be a player, it’s easy to be a coach when you are winning every game. But it’s hard when you’re going through this streak of losses. I think it’s what motivates coaches and players to win, is the fact that losing is so bad. We’re not going to lose our composure and panic. The coaches are working on the plan and we hope to hit the ground running tomorrow and really work through Friday.”

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Troy (2-6, 1-3) will face North Texas (3-6, 2-3) on Saturday as the Trojans’ 2011 homecoming game. The Trojans will not only look to snap a four game losing streak but they will be seeking redemption as well after suffering an upset loss to Florida International in front of their homecoming crowd last season.

Though the Trojans have only claimed two wins, the team refuses to give up on the 2011 season. A victory over North Texas would be vital if the Trojans want to maintain any post season hopes.

“It’s crucial for the seniors, it’s crucial for the whole team,” said defensive tackle Kyle Lucas. “If we can finish this thing out strong, you never know what’s going to happen as far as the bowl games go. We’ve just got to take it one game at a time.”

The Trojans currently sit at the bottom of the Sun Belt conference standings tied with Middle Tennessee for seventh place but still over the Florida Atlantic Owls who are still in search for their first conference win. A win Saturday could launch the Trojans in the standings making them tied for at least fifth place or as good as fourth depending on how the other teams weather the tough conference storm.

North Texas enters Saturday hoping to redeem themselves from a 37-14 defeat against the conference leader Arkansas State. However, North Texas has struggled in the past as homecoming games against the Trojans as Troy knocked off the Mean Green 50-26 in 2009 and 45-7 in 2007 both of which were homecoming games.

A Trojan victory Saturday will do more than just re-energize a troubled fan base, but could bring together a struggling team as well.

“We’ve just got to stick together right now even though we’ve lost four in a row,” said wide receiver Justin Albert.

“We’ve just got to come together as a team and as a family. Just respect each other, the coaches and fight for respect. There’s a lot of frustration of course, but we’ve just got to find a way to the solution. We’ve just got to stick together, one play at a time, one down at a time, one game at a time.”

Kickoff for Saturday is slated for noon and can be seen on CSS.