Waiting game: Trojans have extra time to prepare for rival Jaguars

Published 7:39 pm Tuesday, October 8, 2019

After taking a lopsided loss against Missouri on Saturday, the Trojans now turn their attention to next Wednesday’s game against in-state rival South Alabama in the Battle for the Belt.

The Trojans dropped to 2-3 overall on Saturday, but with a few extra days to practice, the Trojans will use the upcoming game as added motivation.

“Our players are aware of this game and it’s something that we’ve talked about already,” Troy head coach Chip Lindsey said. “When we get on the field, we have to focus on the things we need to improve on regardless of who the opponent is. There’ll be a sense of excitement heading into the week in practice, which should mean an energetic week of practice.”

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The two teams have recent history of playing mid-week games and this year will be no different. The Trojans and Jaguars will play on Wednesday. Following Saturday’s game, the Trojans will have 10 days to get ready for the Jaguars, who are coming off a midweek game of their own last week against Georgia Southern.

“The good thing about this week is we can count backwards and start the preparation just like we would any other week,” Lindsey said. “This allows us to stay in the same routine. Saturday will be more like a game-week Tuesday, and Sunday will be like a Wednesday and so forth. Once you get into that rhythm, it won’t be all that different than any other week.”

The Trojans dropped their first conference game of the season against Arkansas State, making this game a near must-win for the Trojans.

“It’s extremely important,” Lindsey said. “It’s a Sun Belt Conference game and we’re 0-1 in the conference right now. We cannot allow ourselves to get behind and dig ourselves a hole we cannot get out of.

“The good thing about us is that we control our own destiny. All of our goals are still out there.”

It’s been an interesting rivalry between the Jaguars and Trojans. The last four road teams have come away victorious, including the Trojans last season when they knocked off the Jaguars 38-17.

In their last two home games against the Jaguars, the Trojans have lost by scores of 19-8 and 24-18.

“It’s probably just one of those crazy things that happens,” Troy linebacker Carlton Martial said. “It could be nerves, but I’m not sure. Road teams feel like they have more to prove I guess. It’s always exciting playing them; playing against some of my former teammates from high school. It’s going to be fun.”

Both teams enter the game below the .500 mark. The Jaguars enter the game 1-5, while The Trojans sit at 2-3.

“Anytime these two team’s face off, you can guarantee that the records go out the window,” Lindsey said. “We’re going to need to be ready to play mentally and emotionally. The teams that South has lost to are a combined 17-9 overall, which is pretty good. This is a dangerous team that is getting better when you watch them from the first game to now.”

Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.