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Trojans take on rival Jaguars

The Troy Trojans and the South Alabama Jaguars will hold their annual installment of the Battle for the Belt this evening inside Ladd Peebles in Mobile.

The Trojans (5-2, 3-0) had 10 days to try and forget about their 22-16 loss to Liberty in Lynchburg, Virginia.

The Trojans are trying to take back the belt after they fell at home to Jaguars a season ago 19-8.

“I’m glad we are getting back in our conference play,” said head coach Neal Brown. “This is a rivalry game, I’ve made the mistake in the past of making this game bigger than some of the others, but I won’t repeat that.”

The Jaguars enter the contest with an overall record of 2-5 and 1-2 in Sun Belt Conference play. The Jaguars knocked of Alabama State 45-7 in their last game on October 13. They dropped their previous conference game to Georgia Southern 48-13.

“They are coming off a really tough early season schedule,” Brown said. “They had an extremely tough road schedule where they had to face three quality opponents on the road. I know they have some confidence built off of last week’s win. We will get a team that’s well prepared, they are tough and well coached just because I know who they have on that staff. We are going to have to play considerably better than we did on Saturday to have a chance to win the football game on Tuesday night.”

The Trojans beat themselves last week according to Brown. The offense failed to make big plays down the field. By game’s end, the Trojans had just four completions that went for 10 or more yards against the Flames.

“We’ve got make some plays on the perimeter. We just didn’t make enough the other day, whether it was in the passing game or the perimeter run game or the screen game, we just didn’t make enough plays.”

Marcus Jones rushed for over 100 yards for the third consecutive game last week. Brown believes if “Troy doesn’t get their passing game going, it may be tougher to get the run game going.”

“I think the recipe that Liberty used, I think people are going to use that,” Brown said. “They’ll say, ‘OK, you want to run the football, we’re going to put them in the box’ and they’re going to make us make plays on the perimeter. Until we get better at that, we’re going to struggle. We’ve got to put emphasis on that this week and get better not only in the passing game but in the edge and perimeter run game and screen game.”

The Trojans well see two familiar faces when they take on the Jaguars. Former offensive coordinator Kenny Edenfield, along with his son and former Trojan KD Edenfield, are on the Jaguar staff.

I think Kenny will try to tempo us some,” Brown said. “They’ve played well in spots offensively. They had a rough game against App, but other than that they played really well against Memphis; looking at the statistics, they played really well last week against Alabama State. They played well coming from behind against Texas State.”

Kenny Edenfield spent many years in Troy, so Brown and the Trojan coaching staff came up with ways to confuse their former offensive coordinator.

We changed our offensive and defensive signals because it’s not just Kenny; K.D. (Edenfield) was on our defensive staff as a grad assistant and he’s down there now,” Brown said. “We’ve changed all the signals we have offensively and defensively back in the spring. We really started planning on that in February. Sometimes, that’s really overrated anyway, by the time you get a signal and get it communicated to the guys on the field. But we felt like we needed to do it so we went on and did it.”