Five Keys to Beating Troy – From the Bird’s Nest
OK, the Cajuns survived. Now it's time to move on.
Troy comes to Cajun Field Thursday night. Larry Blakeney is 7-3 against the Cajuns in his career but Mark Hudspeth is 2-0 against Troy. The Trojans come in at 5-4, 3-2 in conference play after last Thursday's loss to ULM. The Cajuns are 6-2, 3-0 and have won six straight.
Want to see it become seven? Look for these keys to a Cajuns' victory
1. DON'T LET E.T. DIAL IT UP--The perception is Troy uses a controlled passing attack and to a great extent, that's true. But Corey Robinson loves to stretch the field with his favorite receiver, Eric Thomas. Thomas has found the end zone ten times this year and Troy will look for him (and opposite wideout Bryan Holmes) more than once during the game. If they get their average of 15 yards per catch, the Cajuns' coaching staff can live with that. But if Thomas gets behind the secondary, that might be tough to overcome.
2. TELL YOUR STATISTICS TO SHUT UP - Troy gives up two and a half times more passing yardage then rushing yardage. And the reason for that is, they've played primarily passing teams. Antonio Andrews had more than 140 yards when Troy played WKU. The stats say throw it. The Cajuns need to run it and have a balanced attack. Success in the running game could mean a big night for Terrance Broadway when the Cajuns do decide to throw.
3. PLAY NICE - It's not a surprise Troy leads the league in penalty yardage. But they average 10.6 yards per penalty. That means they commit A LOT of personal foul penalties. Their offensive and defensive lines can get especially chippy (and sometimes, dirty.) Cajuns can't retaliate. Instead they just need to say "God Bless you" and "How's your mama and them?" We all know its the second guy who frequently gets the flag.
4. WATCH WILL SCOTT KICK - Look, let's not kid ourselves here. Troy is going to move the football. And, the Cajuns aren't going to shut them out. Red Zone defense will be a key here. Will Scott is a good kicker. I'd rather see him lining up for three than watching Troy celebrate six.
5. BE THE UNIVERSITY OF SWAGGIN' - (Like that Ike Taylor reference? LOL). The Cajuns are 13-1 under Mark Hudspeth at Cajun Field. The Cajuns need to play with a chip on their shoulder. Regardless of the size of the crowd, get the twelfth man involved early and often. Send the message you can't come into the Swamp and win.
Troy still needs another win to be bowl eligible and, despite two losses, they're still mathematically in the conference race. With their backs against the wall, the Trojans will do all they can to win. But if the Cajuns do the above things, that will make for an awfully long seven hour bus ride home.