Troy’s season of “disappointments” coming to a close

Published 6:17 pm Wednesday, November 30, 2011

No one like to lose. Especially not a head football coach who has grown accustomed to winning during his 21 year career.

Troy head coach Larry Blakeney will begin putting the winning pieces back together after a season that has been hard on players, coaches and fans alike.

The season got off to an ominous beginning as receivers Chip Reeves and Jamel Johnson were deemed academically ineligible. The pair was expected to play a key role in replacing standout NFL draftee Jerrel Jernigan.

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That compounded with a defense allowing yards in mass quantities has led the Trojans to a 3-8 record including last week’s 41-18 loss to Western Kentucky.

“The loss of some guys to eligibility, certainly the injury list and incapability at some positions to get the job done (has hurt the team)” Blakeney said. “It’s just another episode in year that has been filled with different types of disappointments.”

Troy will now face their toughest conference test of the season in Arkansas State. The Red Wolves come into Saturday’s regular season finale 9-2 overall and 7-0 in Sun Belt play. ASU can lock up sole possession of the conference title with a victory over the Trojans, a loss and the Red Wolves would share Sun Belt honors with Western Kentucky.

“We’ve got to tee it up with he best team in the league,” Blakeney said.

“The league is better overall and at the same time we’re in flip stage. We’ve been at the top and right now we’re at the bottom edge.”

While the Trojans did complete the task of defeating both rivals this season in UAB and Middle Tennesse, Blakeney isn’t very fond of being at the bottom of the Sun Belt standings.

“It ain’t no fun,” he said. “If you this is fun, you’ve got the wrong idea. I like talking about good stuff.”

Last season, the Trojans squeaked by ASU scoring with just 22 seconds remaining in the game to pull out a 35-28 victory.

Troy is also looking to earn their first road win of the season. The Trojans are 0-6 on opponents turf this season.

The game between Troy and Arkansas State will be televised on the Sun Belt Network as well as the Trojans flagship station 94.7 WTBF.

Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m.