Troy anxious to host first-ever SEC opponent as Miss. St. visits

Published 10:21 pm Tuesday, September 11, 2012

To call Troy’s matchup with Mississippi State this weekend a big game could be considered an understatement.

Troy is not only looking to bounce back from an emotional loss to Louisiana-Lafayette but reestablish themselves as a dominate program at Veterans Memorial Stadium and in the Sun Belt Conference.

“They’re all big but playing Mississippi State, an SEC team, in our stadium should be a great experience,” head coach Larry Blakeney said. “I watched a good bit of their game with Auburn. They are tough on defense and know what they want to do with the ball offensively.”

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The last BCS conference opponent to set foot on Larry Blakeney Field was Oklahoma State in 2007. The Trojans won that contest, 41-23.

Troy will go into the contest without starting right guard Zach Johnson, who suffered a concussion against Louisiana-Lafayette.

“The main thing is that he gets healthy, but the big thing for us is that we lose a starter,” Blakeney said. “He’s a smart guy and is a big loss for us.”

Corey Robinson was also banged up following his 485-yard passing performance last week, but coaches fell he will be ready to go for the Mississippi State game.

Blakeney is hoping for a large crowd on Saturday and the statistics tell the reason. Troy is 15-2 in the school’s top 17 attendance games.

Tickets for the game are still available. In a press release sent out by the athletics department on Tuesday ticket manager Scott Smith said he has been receiving a large quantity of calls this week.

“We’ve been busy since we opened for business on Monday,” Smith said. “Our fans are excited about Mississippi State coming to Troy and you can tell by the amount of traffic we have had on the phone, in person and online.”

Fans can purchase tickets for the game by calling 1-877-878-WINS, by visiting the Troy ticket office or by logging on to Tickets are $35 for reserved seats and $25 for general admission.

Kickoff for Troy and Mississippi State is set for 6 p.m. Saturday.