Troy looks to turn season around in New Mexico

Published 3:00 am Friday, October 23, 2015

file photo The Troy Trojans hope to get in the win column in conference play this Saturday when they travel to play New Mexico State.

file photo
The Troy Trojans hope to get in the win column in conference play this Saturday when they travel to play New Mexico State.

The Troy Trojans look to turn their season around Saturday evening when they travel to Las Cruces to take on the New Mexico State Aggies.

Both the Trojans (0-2, 1-5) and the Aggies (0-2, 0-5) have struggled to get going early in the season and both teams are eager to pick up their first conference win of the season.

“There is a process and a plan in place,” said Trojan head coach Neal Brown. “We are not going to differentiate from our process. I believe in it. I know where it’s going to take us. It is going to take us back to where everyone associated with this program wants it to be. It may take a little time. It may take a little patience.”

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Even with the struggles during his first season as a head coach, Brown remains optimistic.

“Here’s the thing: I’m not going to be miserable,” Brown said. “I’m not going to walk in here pissed off because of what happened on Saturday afternoon. I refuse to let our staff or players be miserable. I’m not going to allow them to walk around with their heads down because we lost a game. It’s a game. There are people that go through real struggles. Some of our kids are going through real struggles that have nothing to do with a game.”

The Trojans are ready for their third conference game of the season against the Aggies. The Trojans sit in 10th place in the conference, tied with the Aggies.

“New Mexico State is an even match up and very similar in a lot of ways,” Brown said. “I have a lot of respect for Coach (Doug) Martin. He is doing it the right way there. I think they are well coached in all three phases. They are solid and not beating themselves, which I think is important.”

For the second straight week the Trojans will be matching up with team that struggles on the defensive side of the ball. A week ago the Trojans faced the Idaho Vandals, who had let up 542 yards of offense and 47 points, but only gained 381 yards and scored only 16 points.

The Aggies have let up 572 yards of total offense per game and 48 points.

The Trojans, who used two quarterbacks a week ago in Dontreal Pruitt and Dallas Tidwell, hope to have starting quarterback Brandon Silvers back.

“Brandon (Silvers) is progressing,” Brown said. “Dallas (Tidwell) came in the second half and sparked us. We actually looked like a good offensive team for about the last quarter and a half there.”

The Trojans will hope to revive a struggling passing attack.

“They have to get open and make plays when they get the ball thrown to them,” Brown said. “A lot of it is that we have to win against man coverage. And we’re still going to plan to get Teddy (Ruben) the ball because he deserves it, and he’s our best receiver right now.”

Another area the Trojans hope to improve is the running game. Last week the Trojans rushed for 143 yards. The Trojans had trouble penetrating the line of scrimmage and they hope Brandon Burks and others pick up the pace against the Aggies.

“Give some of the credit to them (the defenses),” Brown said. “Most of our run plays have things on the perimeter where the quarterback can get it out of his hand. So the quarterback hasn’t gotten us out of some bad run plays. Some of them have been some bad calls.

Our philosophy of running the football is that it should be a zero gain at the worst. Our running backs have to buy in to that and have to stick their foot in the ground whether than trying to make a big play.”

Kick off between the Trojans and Aggies will be at 7 p.m.