By Megan Phillips
After a disappointing defeat in the conference opener Thursday against Arkansas State 41-34, the Troy football team (2-1) looks to its next road challenge against Mississippi State this Saturday at 6:30 p.m. on FSN.
This game is the second installment of a matchup that began last year when Mississippi State was the first SEC team to ever come to Troy for a game, and the Bulldogs took the victory from the Trojans 30-24.
Now the Trojans are on their way to Starkville looking for a little payback.
“Always going to an SEC team, you get to prove why you are playing college football,” said senior quarterback Corey Robinson. “Hopefully you can show those schools that they messed up by not giving you a chance.”
Robinson has more than made his point, having passed for 343 yards in last year’s matchup against Mississippi State, and totaled 870 yards in the air so far this season alone.
Head coach Larry Blakeney summed it up when he said “I think we have guys on offense that we know can move the football.”
However, the question often is not how well Robinson knows his own team, but how well he knows his opponents.
“They are young all over, so they are not the same team we saw last year,” Robinson said.
As the Trojans prepare to enter Davis Wade Stadium, one of the biggest challenges they have to take into consideration is the Bulldog’s trademark, the cowbell.
“Noise doesn’t bother us,” Blakeney said. “What bothers me is the big SEC football team we are going to have to line up with.”
After escaping Troy with a win last season, Mississippi State went on the finish the season with an 8-5 record, falling 34-20 to 21st ranked Northwestern in the Gator Bowl.
This year’s Bulldog team has only six starting seniors, three on offense and three on defense, and the SEC team has not exactly hit the ground running in 2013.
Opening the season at home to No. 13 Oklahoma State was a 21-3 loss for the Bulldogs followed by a week two 51-7 romp of FCS school Alcorn State.
Last Saturday, Mississippi State was unable to stop an Auburn fourth quarter comeback on the road falling 24-20 to the still unbeaten Tigers.
Last year, mistakes cost Troy against the Bulldogs but for Blakeney, finding a way to get the W is what it all comes down to this weekend.
“Its always good to win no matter where you are, the corn patch, Troy, or Starkville,” Blakeney said.