By Megan Phillips
After a narrow 34-33 victory against South Alabama on Saturday at home, the Troy football (3-3) team now looks to game seven of the 2013 season against new Sun Belt opponent Georgia State in the Georgia Dome on Saturday, Oct. 12, at 2:30 p.m.
Georgia State comes into this game with a losing record, having no wins so far in 2013, but that doesn’t mean that they are a losing team to Troy Head Coach Larry Blakeney.
“I know they haven’t won a game,” Blakeney said. “But if you saw them on tape, you wouldn’t think that they were a winless team.
The Trojans have their work cut out for them as they once again hit the road for a conference game that will determine if their record will stand heavy on the wins or heavy on the losses as the team is currently .500 in conference in the Sun Belt with a 1-1 record and 3-3 overall.
Atop the weight the win and loss record puts on the team, Troy is also faced with the pressure of a game on the road, having lost every road game so far this season.
“Of course we’re feeling better at home,” junior safety Jeremy Spikner said, “but we have to be able to transition this week and take some of that mentality we had in Troy to Atlanta.”
This is a transition that will not be easy as the Trojans prepare to play in the legendary Georgia Dome, many of which will play in for the first time.
“It’s one of those places that you never think you’ll play in until it actually happens,” Spikner said. “Next week is going to be a good experience.”
While Blakeney agrees that the opportunity is monumental for many of his players, it is another conference road game, and he expects his players to recognize that and treat it as such.
The winless Georgia State started its season against Samford at home falling 31-21 to the Bulldogs in the Thursday opener.
The Panthers’ second game of 2013 was at home to Chattanooga where GSU was pounded 42-14 in the Georgia Dome.
Things didn’t get much better for the Panthers when they played their first road game of the year in Morgantown falling 41-7 to West Virginia.
Week four against Jacksonville State at home was the closest game of the season for the Panthers losing 32-26 to the Gamecocks.
After a bye week, Georgia State faced No. 1 Alabama in Tuscaloosa where the Panthers fell 45-3 to the Crimson Tide.
Even impact players like senior wide receiver Eric Thomas who made the catch of the season against the Jaguars in the homecoming game who comes into the matchup against the Panthers with 26 career touchdown receptions, the most in Sun Belt history, isn’t writing off Georgia State as a win just yet.
“We can’t take anyone lightly,” Thomas said. “We haven’t had a road win yet this season, so this could be a big one for us.”
The tickets are cheap and the drive is not bad, so make the trip to Atlanta to watch Troy this Saturday.