Down to this: Trojans begin preparations for showdown with Appalachian State

Published 7:09 pm Monday, November 19, 2018

The Troy Trojans hit the road this week to take on Appalachian State with the Sun Belt Conference East Division Championship on the line.

The Trojans come into the contest as the lone Sun Belt team with an undefeated mark in conference play. They secured that with a 12-7 win over Texas State on Saturday.

“The game wasn’t pretty, but we found a way to win and at the end of the day that is all that matters. We are in survive and advance mode and we survived and advanced.”

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The game “advances” the Trojans in Saturday’s game, where they will play for the right to host the conference’s first-ever championship game.

“It’s a big game,” Brown said. “A lot is at stake. Our guys are excited about the opportunity. I think a lot of credit needs to go to our staff and to our players. To get to this point of the season with the amount of injuries that we have had, I think it speaks to our staff’s ability to get our guys ready to play. To sit here 9-2, going into the last week of the season with the opportunity to win our division and host the championship game, I think is a big deal.”

It’s so much of a big deal that regardless of the outcome on Saturday, the game will define his team’s season.

“Here we are 7-0 in conference and any time you play these types of games, people think it makes or breaks your season,” Brown said. “I don’t buy into that. We are playing a really good football team and we are going on the road to play that game. To put all of our eggs in one basket and say the year hasn’t been a success if we don’t win, I don’t agree with that.”

Troy University will be closed this week for fall break, leaving the players time to focus on Saturday’s pivotal matchup with the Mountaineers.

“This is one of my favorite weeks,” Brown said. “We have a lot of time with our players. We talk about ‘Hey if you want to be an NFL player, this gives you a taste of it.”

The Trojans will spend Monday through Wednesday lifting, going to study hall and doing community service in the morning. They will practice in the afternoons, early enough to simulate Saturday’s game time kick of 1:30 central time.

On Thursday, the Trojans will hold practice in the morning before enjoying a Thanksgiving meal on Thursday afternoon, which will be open to the players and their families.

Troy will fly out to Boone on Friday afternoon before kicking off against the Mountaineers on Saturday afternoon.