Troy prepares for historic weekend as teams host first-ever SEC and service academy opponents

Published 9:10 pm Thursday, November 8, 2012

It will be a sport-filled, exciting weekend in Pike County. High school football kicks off the its postseason play, while Troy University hosts its first Southeastern Conference opponents in basketball and its first service academy in football.

On Saturday the football team takes on Navy, for just the second time in school history, last season’s 42-14 loss in Annapolis being the first. The basketball team will kick off the weekend with its season opener versus Mississippi State on tonight in the first game played in the new Trojan Arena.

Troy defeated Alaska-Anchorage in an exhibition game on Monday. Newcomer Hunter Williams scored a game-high 19 points for the Trojans, while junior Emil Jones accounted for 12 points and 10 rebounds. Tonight’s opponent, however, will be a true test.

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Mississippi State comes in after losing four players to the NBA or transfer but are still a quality opponent.

Troy has never beaten the Bulldogs in nine previous matchups including a 106-68 defeat last season in Starkville, Miss.

The Trojans are 27-3 in home openers under head coach Don Maestri.

The Troy football team looks to rebound after a near upset of Tennessee on the road last week. The Trojans, who led with under three minutes to play, fell just short of a high-scoring affair, 55-48.

The game against the Navy (6-3) will coincidentally take place on the 237th birthday of the United States Marine Corps.

Troy (4-5, 3-3 Sun Belt) comes into the game ranked 15th nationally in passing and total offense. Conversely, the Midshipman are seventh in the NCAA with 267.2 yards per games rushing. Led by Gee Gee Greene, Navy has four players averaging over 41 yards per game on the ground. Navy also enters the contest winners of five consecutive contests after starting the season 1-3.

True freshman quarterback Keenan Reynolds has taken control of the offense and will lead the team into Veteran Memorial Stadium on Saturday.

Corey Robinson, who is 21st in country averaging 270.9 yards passing per game, will guide the Trojans offensive attack.

After Saturday, Troy will have just two regular season games remaining. Arkansas State will visit Veterans Memorial Stadium on Nov. 17 before the Trojans travel to Middle Tennessee State on Nov. 24.

Troy basketball tips off against Mississippi State at 7 p.m. On Friday, while Troy football is set for a 2:30 p.m. Kickoff on Saturday.