TROY, Ala. – Trojan players boarded the team buses to Birmingham last Friday for their season opener at UAB with a common message across their shirts – UNFINISHED BUSINESS. The Trojans left historic Legion Field with a convincing 39-29 victory in their back pocket and a small piece of unfinished business tucked away.
The Trojans next piece of business comes on Saturday in the form of Louisiana-Lafayette in both the home opener and Sun Belt opener for the Men of Troy. Kickoff is slated for 6:04 p.m. in a game that will be broadcast by ESPN3.
There are plenty of storylines to keep people interested going into Saturday’s marquee Sun Belt game – the Trojans are 21-0 in home openers under head coach Larry Blakeney, Troy is 92-14-1 at home under Blakeney and the team has revenge on its mind following a 14-point loss to the Cajuns last season.
“They got us down there last year and we helped them a little bit, but they got us,” Blakeney said at his weekly press luncheon. “I hope our people are engaged about this thing. Let me tell you, this game this week is bigger than anything we've had in a few years as far of having good support at the game.”
Fans can purchase tickets for the game by contacting the Troy ticket office at 1-877-878-WINS or online at TroyTrojans.com.
Troy stormed out to a 17-0 lead last week at UAB and led again by 17 late in the fourth quarter before a UAB touchdown in the waning minutes of the game produced the final 10-point margin.
Senior running back Shawn Southward had a field day against the Blazers as he rushed for 204 yards and three touchdowns. His tally was the fifth most in the NCAA last week, sixth most in school history and best by a Trojan since 2008.
Corey Robinson completed 11-of-20 passes for 164 yards with a pair of touchdowns and no interceptions to lead the Trojan passing attack. His favorite target was Chip Reeves who caught six passes for 125 yards and a score, while B.J. Chitty iced the game with a late 25-yard touchdown reception.
Defensively it was a surprise hero that led the way. Senior walk-on De’Von Terry recovered a fumble on the Troy 2-yard line, intercepted a pass that immediately led to a Troy touchdown and recorded five tackles as he played in his first football game since 2007.
Brannon Bryan and Brynden Trawick each had 11 tackles to lead Troy on the afternoon, while newcomers to the Trojan defense Tyler Roberts and Marty Stadom each had a key sack. The Trojans forced four UAB turnovers on the afternoon and came up with a key fourth-down stop on the game’s opening possession.
Southward and Terry were rewarded for their work when the Sun Belt Conference named them their offensive and defensive players of the week, respectively, on Monday.
Troy has had the upper hand in the series over Louisiana-Lafayette under Blakeney’s watch as the Men of Troy have won seven of the nine games during the hall of famer’s tenure. Thanks to six straight victories to open the series in the 1940s and 50s the Cajuns own the overall series advantage by a slim 8-7 margin.
The Cajuns were not tested in their season opener as they jumped out to a 40-0 halftime lead over FCS opponent Lamar. Quarterback Blaine Gautier completed 7-of-18 pass attempts for 142 yards and a pair of scores, while Effrem Reed led the ground attack with 55 yards and a score on seven carries in the 40-0 victory.
Louisiana-Lafayette kicker Brett Baer shouldered much of the scoring responsibility as he booted four field goals to run his streak of consecutive makes to 15. The ULL defense forced four turnovers which created a short field for the Cajuns to work with as six of ULL’s scoring drives were 31 yards or less.