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Trojans enjoy national exposure

The Trojans had their moment in the sun after they defeated nationally ranked LSU, but with rival South Alabama looming, it’s time to turn the page.

The Trojans (4-1, 1-0) made national headlines just over a week ago. After defeating the Tigers, Troy quickly became the talk of the sporting world. Head coach Neal Brown went on numerous shows including Sportscenter, the Paul Finebaum Show and the Jim Rome Show.

I think it was huge for our university,” Brown said. “What’s unique about Troy is the size of our town and the size of our campus and we play on the highest level. I don’t know if you can put a dollar figure on the amount of exposure that it brought to our university.”

With Brown getting his opportunity on a national stage, a few of his players had some fun with him on Monday.

I was surprised he didn’t have a stylist come in and see them,” said Brandon Silvers. “I have had to put on makeup for photo shoots. I’m surprised he didn’t have a stylist at 6 a.m. putting make up on. He looked a little rough for his ESPN one – I’m just kidding.”

“He deserves it,” Kamryn Melton said. “That is my guy.  He doesn’t need any of that (makeup).”

After a few days of fun and a bye week, it was time to get back to work for Brown and the Trojans. They take on rival South Alabama on Wednesday.

I think it’s a benefit that we didn’t play this Saturday, then we don’t play until Wednesday and it’s a rivalry game,” Brown said. “The coaching staffs are familiar with each other. A lot of the players have competed with each other. We have a point to prove as a football program.”

The Trojans were in a similar situation a season ago. Last year after defeating Appalachian State 28-24, the Trojans became the first Sun Belt Conference team to be ranked inside the Associated Press Top-25 poll. But the Trojans lost two out of their final three regular season games and just missed out on a conference championship.

“We did not handle the national attention last year,” Brown said. “Have we matured? I think that’s the challenge to our team.”

After things settled down on campus, the Trojans kicked back into gear last Tuesday afternoon.

“Intense, very intense,” Melton said. “Last year we had a game against App State and came back against Arkansas State and laid an egg. This year, that’s our motivation going into this game.”

Ever since Brown arrived on the scene before the 2015 season, the Trojans have had all their focus on winning conference championships. Troy now enters the bulk of it’s conference schedule with all seven remaining games against conference foes.

We have to continue to get better,” Brown said. “Our best is the standard. We have to continue to play at a better level when you get in conference. Everyone is familiar with each other. We’re not necessarily going to surprise South with what we’re doing.

“Our goal is to get to 2-0 in the conference. The LSU win was great, I’m proud of our guys and I’m excited about the publicity it brought to our university. If we don’t follow that up with playing good football in our conference, then it really doesn’t mean anything.