Playing in Georgia Dome new experience for Trojans

Published 12:14 am Saturday, October 12, 2013

Saturday’s game may not be the biggest test of the year, but it will be on one of the biggest stages.

The Troy Trojans will be in Atlanta taking on Georgia State in the Georgia Dome, a venue some players can’t wait to see.

“It’s one of those places that you never think about that you’ll play at until it actually happens,” safety Jeremy Spikner said.

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“It’s something I know I haven’t gotten to do. Probably most of the team hasn’t gotten to do it either,” wide receiver B.J. Chitty said.

However, there is at least one player on the roster that has taken the field in the Georgia Dome.

Offensive lineman Antonio Garcia, a redshirt-freshman from Atlanta, had one experience in the Dome, but it wasn’t a fond memory.

“It was a loss, unfortunately, 35-7,” Garcia said. “They [Sandy Creek] were state champions like two years in a row before that.”

This time though, Garcia is looking to create better memories with the Trojans.

“I’ve played there before and it’s a great atmosphere,” Garcia said. “I know a lot of guys on the opposing team so it’s going to be cool competing against them.”

Wide receiver Chandler Worthy, a native of Griffin, Ga., reached the semi-finals two of his four years in high school but never made it to playing on the big stage.

This was one of the games he was looking forward to the most, however, all Worthy will be doing is looking on as his teammates take the field.

“I’ve been there a lot of times, but playing in it, that’s a whole different thing,” Worthy said.

Worthy has not seen as much playing time this season due to an injury; one he has played through but says will keep him out of the upcoming contest.

“I’ve never been able to touch it,” Worthy said. “That’s where I’ve wanted to play my entire life and I have to sit out this game.”

“I hate it with Chandler, but I hate it worse for the team because we need him,” head coach Larry Blakeney said. “We need him to get well and get well soon.”

It wasn’t just Worthy who had circled this game on the schedule.

Trojans’ tight end Jim Teknipp has a brother, Bill, who plays tight end for the Panthers.

This game would have been the first time the brother’s had been able to compete head-to-head at the college level, but Bill Teknipp suffered a season-ending knee injury and will be sidelined.

Though not many players on the roster have experience in the Georgia Dome, there are a few who remember the Superdome from high school and bowl games.

“I’m from Louisiana. I always played in the Superdome so it’s kind of the same for me really,” wide receiver Eric Thomas said.

“Last time we went down there [2010 New Orleans Bowl], I was like ‘Man this is what it feels like playing on the big time stage,’” quarterback Corey Robinson said. “Playing in places like that is what really makes it fun for me.”

The Trojans have the opportunity to get their first road win on Saturday and keep their conference title hopes alive.

“We’re 0-3 right now on the road, thanks for the home field advantage I guess right?” Robinson said. “It’s going to be huge if we go down there and play a good football game and get this win, but we’re definitely not overlooking them.”

Troy plays at Georgia State on Saturday.