Troy Football Duke Preview


Caleb Odom

Sports Editor


After an ugly 62-7 massacre by Mississippi State last Saturday, Sept. 21, the Troy football team (2-2) looks to find a way to win on the road against Duke (2-2) this weekend.

The Bulldogs racked up 551 total yards of offense, while Troy only had 186 and a game that Mississippi State scored 35 points in the second quarter alone.

“Credit where credit is due,” Troy head coach Larry Blakeney said at the Monday press conference. “We couldn’t get the ball from them, and we didn’t execute very well ourselves.”

The Trojans have lost their last five road games with Troy’s last win not at Veterans Memorial Stadium coming on Sept. 29, 2012, against South Alabama, a 31-10 victory.

Even though Duke is known for its play on the hardwood compared to the gridiron, this Blue Devil football team is not to be underestimated.

“They are well coached and David Cutcliffe is a longtime friend,” Blakeney said. “He was certainly a great offensive coordinator at Tennessee and [head coach] at Ole Miss.”

Last year Duke went 6-7 to make it to the Belk Bowl, which the Blue Devils lost to Cincinnati 48-34, the program’s first bowl appearance since the 1994 Hall of Fame Bowl where they lost to No. 24 Wisconsin 34-20.

Duke started the 2013 season with two convincing wins against NC Central 45-0 at home and a road victory over Memphis 28-14.

But in week three, the Ramblin’ Wreck of Georgia Tech came calling and the Yellow Jackets stung the Blue Devils with a 38-14 loss at home.

The second game of Duke’s four straight home games last Saturday was against new ACC member, Pittsburgh, who defeated the Blue Devils in a high scoring affair 58-55.

For Troy, the challenge is shutting down the Duke offense.

“They are unique on offense,” Blakeney said. “But everybody is doing the same thing. Lots of cross motion, fake and read, quarterback read, power and zone.”

Blakeney went on to say that the Blue Devils have the capability to move the ball and score, which is the same thing the Trojans, have to do if they want to win.

The game in Durham, N.C. is set to kick at Sept. 29, at 2 p.m. and is televised on ESPN3.

Duke made Troy its homecoming game, so there is all the more reason a crash the Blue Devils’ party on Saturday.

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