Trojans not looking past Savannah State

Published 8:56 pm Thursday, September 5, 2013

Eastern Washington, McNeese State, North Dakota State, Northern Iowa, Eastern Illinois, Towson and Southern Utah all proved that on any given Saturday, a Football Bowl Subdivision team could fall victim of a loss to a smaller, and perceived weaker, team. Each one of those seven teams knocked off an FBS opponent during the opening weekend of the college football season.

This week Troy welcomes Football Championship Subdivision opponent Savannah State and has prepared hard all week to make sure they do not become the eighth team to suffer a loss.

Offensive lineman Jimmie Arnold said the Trojans are preparing as if they were going against one of the best teams in the nation.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

“We definitely don’t want to be added to that list, and are treating this week like any other week,” Arnold said. “We are preparing for this game as if we are playing an SEC team.”

Troy is 41-18-1 all time against teams from the state of Georgia, but has not met a team from the Peach State since falling to the Georgia Bulldogs 44-34 in 2007.

Troy Head Coach Larry Blakeney is familiar with members of the Savannah State coaching staff and has the utmost respect for Tigers’ head coach, Earnest Wilson III.

“Corey Barlow, a guy that played for us at Auburn, is their defensive coordinator and he know what he is doing,” Blakeney said. “Earnest Wilson III has been all over the country coaching football, college and professionally. He got there June 7. They took it on the chin pretty good last week, but we expect them to be much improved from week one to week two.”

Troy offensive coordinator Kenny Edenfield said that Savannah State does things well that don’t show up in the state column.

“They didn’t have a good day (week one against Georgia Southern) score wise, but everybody can see that,” Edenfield said. “They ran to the ball well, they got off of some blocks and they played a really good football team. They will be a little more in tune to what we do offensively, because I believe they run a similar system.”

Blakeney recalled a game from early in his tenure at Troy in which the Trojans got all they could handle from a perceived lesser opponent.

The Trojans rallied late in a homecoming game against Central State of Ohio to tie 21-21.

“We scored and ran a little corner route to a guy named Kilow for two, and were able to tie it up,” Blakeney said. “We sang the fight song in the locker room that day.”

Corey Robinson, fresh off setting a new NCAA mark for single-game completion percentage, says the players aren’t looking past Savannah State to the Sun Belt Conference opener against Arkansas State next Thursday.

“We have to be prepared this week.” Robinson said. “We can’t overlook this one for Arkansas State. What I have preached all week is that we can not overlook this game.”

Kickoff for the clash between the Trojans and Tigers is set for a 6 P.m. kickoff.