It was a warm night on September 9, 2004 and there was only one college football game on ESPN and it was played in Troy, Alabama. It was a game that featured the #17 Missouri Tigers vs. the Troy Trojans. This was the first chance Troy received to play a BCS team at home. The game was also a chance for Heisman candidate Brad Smith to impress voters. But, the Trojans were having none of it, defeating the Tigers 24-14. This was the game that put Troy football on the map.
Troy has been known to go after some big name teams, putting them on the schedule knowing they probably will not get a return game in Troy. The past few years Troy has scheduled teams such as Tennessee, LSU, Mississippi State, Oklahoma State, etc. In most games the Trojans have taken these BCS level teams to the distance but often losing. They do strike sometimes upsetting programs such as Oklahoma State and Missouri.
Next year’s out of conference schedule is very manageable to go through a sweep. A 5-0 sweep through the non conference would be very impressive as it features three BCS teams, a CUSA in-state rival, and a FCS school that everyone plays nowadays. Those teams are Duke, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, UAB, and Savannah State. Here at Fifth Quarter we will give you a break down on the “big” name teams the Trojans are playing and why they shouldn’t be afraid.
THE OUT OF CONFERENCE OPPONENTS
Troy has won the past 3 out of four against UAB and should have now been four straight if UAB did not come away with a lucky Hail Mary touchdown pass in 2010. (Very, very lucky considering local newspapers had pictures of the UAB receiver who caught the game winning touchdown pass sitting on the 2-yard line before sliding into the endzone…) Also Troy has only lost to UAB at home once in their history and the Blazers come to Troy in 2013.
Troy will have NO problem here against Savannah State as they are the worst FCS team out there. Last year the Tigers were outscored 139-0 in two games (only 6 full quarters of play) against FBS teams. They won one game last year against a horrible NAIA team by a touchdown. This will be an easy win to try new stuff and experiment.
Just last year the Troy Trojans were a touchdown away from beating the Bulldogs. Troy is 1-2 all time against Mississippi State, but if you add all three scores together it equals out to 53-50 in Troy’s advantage. The Trojans have been in this situation plenty of times so there is no reason to be scared of the big, bad SEC. The Mississippi State defense looks to be stellar again but the offense will need some improvement. This is a manageable game to win for the Trojans.
This will be a much tougher opponent than Mississippi State. Ole Miss is starting to look pretty scary as they showed major improvement in 2012 reaching a bowl game for the first time since the 2009 regular season. Not to mention they are 33-1-2 all time against the current Sun Belt teams. This will be by far the hardest game on the schedule and Ole Miss is now ranked #12 in the latest rivals recruiting rankings. BUT this game is still manageable to win! If the Mississippi State Bulldogs can go into Oxford and hang in there all game so can the Trojans.
Troy and Duke just signed an agreement to play a home and home in 2013-2014. Playing in Wallace Wade stadium is far less intimidating than the usual SEC stops Troy makes. And, while Duke made improvements to compete for their first bowl game in a long time, they are not going to scare the Trojans. Hopefully if the schedule permits Troy will have Duke later in the season as the Blue Devils always seem to get worse as the weeks go by.