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  • Missouri's visit a major coup for Troy

    Posted: Wednesday Sep 8, 2004 2:00 PM

    TROY, Ala. (AP) -- Alfred Malone isn't just interested in letting people outside the state know Troy football exists or proving the Trojans can hang in there against a major conference team.

    When No. 19 Missouri visits Thursday night, the defensive tackle wants to win.

    "Second place in football is nothing,'' Malone said. "You can have individual success and say, 'Yeah, OK, we played good,' but there's nothing like a win. That's what we go out for every Saturday is a win. How can you celebrate just playing good?''

    A win, Troy coach Larry Blakeney said, would be "monumental for this program, for this university and for this conference.''

    Actually, for the fledgling Division I-A program and new Sun Belt Conference member, just having a team from the Big 12 come to town is a coup. Playing on national television for the first time (ESPN2) is a huge bonus.

    Facing fleet-footed, strong-armed Missouri quarterback Brad Smith, on the other hand, might not be so much fun.

    Smith ran roughshod over Troy -- formerly Troy State -- as a freshman in a 44-7 victory in 2002. He showed in Missouri's opener why many consider him a Heisman Trophy candidate, passing for three touchdowns and running for a 34-yard score in a blowout of Arkansas State.

    The Trojans racked up eight sacks in a road upset of Marshall in their season opener, but will have a much harder time catching up with Smith.

    "He can do so many things,'' Blakeney said. "He can beat you with his speed and carrying the football. He's the total player.''

    But, Malone points out, "It's always better when you sack a big name.''

    The Trojans caught Smith's attention in holding Marshall, normally an offensive power, to 177 total yards and constantly hounding quarterback Stan Hill. He's wary of Troy's pass rushers led by defensive end Demarcus Ware, who had three sacks and forced two fumbles in the opener.

    "You definitely have to be aware of them and you've got to make quicker decisions,'' Smith said. "That's probably the big thing is to get the ball out and let the guys run with the ball.''

    The Tigers showed their firepower early against Arkansas State, scoring 21 points in a 5:17 stretch of the first quarter. However, the game also exposed a weak spot -- the Tigers allowed 350 passing yards to two Arkansas State quarterbacks.

    Troy's strength is expected to be running the ball with DeWhitt Betterson and Jermaine Richardson, though both were mostly shut down against Marshall.

    Quarterback Aaron Leak had one of his better games, throwing for 196 yards and running for a touchdown.

    "They're going to watch the film against Marshall and know we're not only a running threat now, we're a passing threat,'' receiver James Earl Cray said. "I think they're going to be a little more aggressive. I think we can handle it well.

    "I feel we can come in and do the same against them or even better.''

    Troy's only win over a major conference team was at Mississippi State three years ago. The 10{-point underdogs would get an even bigger boost with an upset Thursday.

    "It's about respect. Troy's been playing good ball for awhile and deserved to move up to Division I-A,'' Malone said. "We're playing big schools now.

    "Having big teams rolling in and getting victories over big teams out of other conferences, people have got to start respecting Troy. We can put us on the map. That's one thing we want to do.''


    Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

  • #2
    Re: Missouri's visit a major coup for Troy

    Troy never gave up and whipped the Tigers after the First Qtr. Wow, what a display of never giving up and on any given day.....

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Missouri's visit a major coup for Troy

      I am in mourning. Goodbye, top 25. Hello middle of the Big XII pack.

      However, Troy is much better than advertised. They are going to turn heads with that speed on defense.
      The more things change, the more they stay the same.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Missouri's visit a major coup for Troy

        My question is how do you not catch that offensive lineman running down the field. Its not like he was just running a few yards, but nobody caught him. My best friend is a Mizzou fan and I bet this game tore him up.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Missouri's visit a major coup for Troy

          I LOVE it when a non-BCS school pulls the upset, it's GREAT! Get rid of that stupid rating garbage. Sorry, to all the Mizzou fans, but Troy is an up and coming team. They are entering the Sun Belt this year and should contend with North Texas for the title. It's just too bad they won't be playing each other this year.

          Comment

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          • DJRamFan
            Marshall player arrested before Ohio St. game
            by DJRamFan
            Posted: Wednesday September 8, 2004 2:23AM; Updated: Wednesday September 8, 2004 2:23AM





            HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) -- A Marshall defensive lineman was charged Tuesday with malicious wounding in an Aug. 22 fight outside a bar that injured an Ohio State player.

            Sophomore Roger Garrett was arraigned in Cabell County Magistrate Court, team officials said.

            A telephone call to the court went unanswered Tuesday night.

            "We're going to allow the court system to take its course. Roger will not make the Ohio State trip," Marshall coach Bob Pruett said in a statement.

            Ohio State defensive end Redgie Arden, 22, suffered a broken nose and other facial injuries in the fight.

            Marshall (0-1) plays at No. 9 Ohio State (1-0) on Saturday.

            Following the fight, Marshall defensive end Jonathan Goddard was arrested after allegedly shoving a police officer who tried to pull him off a Huntington man. The Huntington man was later arrested on drug and weapons charges.

            Goddard pleaded not guilty to the misdemeanor last week in Cabell County Magistrate Court. He sat out the first half of Saturday's 17-15 loss to Troy, but it wasn't known if the disciplinary action was related to his arrest.

            Arden last season played seven minutes total in seven games, mainly on special teams.

            He was expected to miss most of the current season after suffering a shoulder injury during preseason practice, Ohio State spokesman Steve Snapp has said.

            Buckeyes may live with, learn from QBs' mistakes
            COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Ohio State coach Jim Tressel has always said that he will never have a quarterback who regularly coughs up the ball to the other team.

            Maybe now he has no choice.

            Committed to weathering a learning curve with sophomores Justin Zwick and Troy Smith, Tressel says he just hopes his young quarterbacks learn from their mistakes. In other words, the unacceptable has become almost unavoidable.

            "We're committed to growing through the process and there's no doubt about it, our quarterback being mistake-free is huge," Tressel said Tuesday. "There are some mistakes that we're not going to be able to live with, but Justin knows that, Troy knows that. You learn from those experiences."

            Zwick threw two interceptions and had four fumbles in the No. 9-ranked Buckeyes' 27-6 lashing of Cincinnati on Saturday, but kept the starting job over Smith heading into Saturday's game against Marshall.

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            -09-09-2004, 11:18 AM
          • DJRamFan
            Utah trying for first 9-0 start in school history
            by DJRamFan
            Nov. 5, 2004
            SportsLine.com wire reports

            SALT LAKE CITY -- Colorado State coach Sonny Lubick is impressed with what former Rams assistant Urban Meyer has done in just two years at Utah.

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            The No. 7 Utes are one win away from the best start in school history and three victories away from a perfect regular season. Next up are Lubick's Rams on Saturday.

            "Since I've been here, I think this Utah team probably is as good as any of them," Lubick said of the conference teams he's seen in 11-plus years at Colorado State.

            Utah (8-0, 4-0 Mountain West) is trying for the first 9-0 start in school history. The Utes have opened the season with eight consecutive wins twice, most recently 10 years ago. And if that isn't distracting enough, there is also the rampant speculation that Florida may be interested in hiring Meyer, Utah's Bowl Championship Series standing and quarterback Alex Smith's Heisman Trophy candidacy.

            Yet none of it seems to faze the Utes.

            "I'm glad to say this. There's nothing phony about (Smith), me, the staff, the team. It's one of the most unselfish programs I've ever been around," said Meyer, who has refused to comment on the Florida job since Ron Zook's firing was announced last Monday.

            The Utes have maintained they don't closely follow the BCS list, which could put them in one of the top four bowls when the season ends. Utah has been at No. 6 the last two weeks, although No. 4 California and No. 5 Wisconsin both jumped ahead of the Utes, who beat San Diego State 51-28 last week.

            It was a reminder that teams from larger conferences have a chance to pass up the lesser-known Utes, even if they keep winning.

            "We could care less about the BCS. We have no control over it. All we have control over is winning games. That's all coach Meyer expresses to us," defensive back Eric Weddle said. "If it doesn't happen, it doesn't happen."

            Smith learned this week that he officially is a semifinalist for the Heisman, which has never gone to a Ute. Smith is third nationally in passing, completing 131 of 203 passes for 1,905 yards and 20 touchdowns. He has also run for eight touchdowns.

            "What makes them so good is their quarterback (Alex Smith) is very fluid and just very composed. Not only can he run the ball, he is very smooth in running it and makes people miss," Lubick said. "He reminds you of a nice sleek halfback. But then he also has the real poise to sit back there and is a very accurate thrower."

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            -11-06-2004, 02:13 PM
          • DJRamFan
            Missouri's promising season turns miserable after four defeats
            by DJRamFan
            Nov. 17, 2004
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            COLUMBIA, Mo. -- One miserable month has wiped away all the promise Missouri started with this season.

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            The Tigers (4-5) have lost four straight and the star running back and the father of the star quarterback have questioned the play calling.

            Coach Gary Pinkel's mid-major background, his perceived stubbornness and his apparent decision to transform Brad Smith into a dropback passer have all come into question.

            With two games left, it's hard to believe this team began the season with the grand expectations of a Heisman Trophy contender and a No. 17 preseason ranking.

            "It's been a tough month," Pinkel said.

            Pinkel appeared to have accomplished the big turnaround last season, leading the Tigers to a 7-5 record and an appearance in the Independence Bowl -- their first postseason appearance in five years and only the third in 20 years. Near the end of last season he signed a contract extension through 2008.

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            The Tigers scored two quick touchdowns at Troy, then nothing. They ran out to a 17-0 lead against Oklahoma State before losing by three at home, and in their last game two weeks ago they were poised to end an 11-game losing streak against Kansas State with a 21-0 second-quarter lead that also evaporated in a 35-24 loss.

            "If we were playing two halves, I don't think we'd be having a problem," offensive tackle Scott Paffrath said. "That's what's so disappointing about the way we've played. It's not like we've gotten beat, we've let these games go."

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            -11-18-2004, 01:46 PM
          • DJRamFan
            Oklahoma, Auburn Stumble In Openers
            by DJRamFan
            Top 25 teams tumble in first weekend

            Sept. 4, 2005


            AUBURN, Ala. (AP) - Bob Stoops found much to dislike in Oklahoma's season-opening performance. No consistent running game. Poor pass protection. Errant throws.

            And in the interest of fairness, he said the coaching also left something to be desired in a 17-10 loss to TCU on Saturday.

            "They outplayed us and outcoached us as a whole," the Sooners coach said Sunday.

            No team understands his pain better than Auburn. The 16th-ranked Tigers also stumbled out of the gates with a 23-14 loss to Georgia Tech.

            The two teams who spent the end of last season jockeying for the right to play Southern California for the national title likely want no part of the top-ranked Trojans at the moment.

            For Auburn, it was a turnover- and mistake-filled end to a 15-game winning streak that trailed only USC and Utah among active streaks. Keeping the season from going downhill was more on the team's mind in the locker room than the streak.

            "The winning streak, that was something we obviously all looked at," coach Tommy Tuberville said. "It's something we didn't harp on. It's been awhile since we lost a game, and it was good to see the seniors stand up and say a few words after the game (instead of) having their heads down."

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            "It might be the attitude and discipline we came out and played with," he said. "Or it could be the play-calling. It really is hard to put your finger on it."

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          • DJRamFan
            Spartans Prepare For Shootout Against Hawaii
            by DJRamFan
            Michigan State can reach the .500 mark with a win over the Warriors in the season finale.

            Dec. 3, 2004

            HONOLULU (AP) - Before arriving on the islands, Michigan State prepared as best as it could for Hawaii, the tropical climate and the time difference. But there was one factor the Spartans may have overlooked.

            "The other factor is just the beauty of Hawaii," Spartans coach John L. Smith said. "There's so many distractions that it's hard to keep your mind on the game. My goodness, there's beautiful Polynesian gals walking around. The last things these guys are thinking about is football."

            That's just the way Hawaii wants it.

            The Warriors (6-5) need a win Saturday night against the Spartans (5-6) to earn an invitation to the Hawaii Bowl for the third straight year.

            "This game means a lot. If we lose, we don't want to live the rest of our lives saying, `We should've. We could've,'" Warriors running back West Keliikipi said. "If we lose, it'll be devastating. We worked too hard."





            A loss for Hawaii will also close the storied career of quarterback Timmy Chang, who this year became the most prolific passer in college football history. He owns the career NCAA marks for passing yardage (16,251), attempts (2,341), completions (1,328), interceptions (80) and total offense (16,066).

            "It's always hard to see (the seniors) go, but these guys have been here for five years -- since I've been here. So you get attached to them," Hawaii coach June Jones said.

            Chang, who has thrown for 3,437 yards and 30 touchdowns this season, is playing his best football as of late. He has 781 passing yards and 10 TDs in his last two games.

            His favorite target is pint-sized playmaker Chad Owens, who scored five times and had 276 all-purpose yards in Hawaii's 49-41 victory over Northwestern last week.

            The 5-foot-7 Owens is seventh in the nation in receiving with 7.36 receptions per game. He has also returned four punt for touchdowns this season.

            "You got some great talent at wideout," Smith said. "They run down the field and catch the ball. That little Owens guy is probably as good as there is in the country."

            Despite winning six straight at home, Hawaii is an underdog as it tries to beat a second Big Ten opponent in as many weeks.

            "We want to stay alive," Hawaii cornerback Abraham Elimimian said. "If we win this game, it's going to be very magical. If we don't, it's a bad way to end it as a senior."

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            -12-04-2004, 03:05 PM
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