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Troy State Football Preview
by Matt Fargo - 08/18/2008
No. 92 Troy Trojans
2007 Record ~ 8-4 SU ~ 8-3 ATS
Starters Returning ~ Offense (7) Defense (7)
Troy has finished at 6-1 in each of the last two seasons in the SBC but failed to make it to a bowl game last season. The goal this year is pretty simple and that is to make it back to New Orleans. The Trojans are 19-8 in conference action since entering the SBC in 2004 and they have been the most consistent team in the league since North Texas from 2001-2004. A lot of the success goes to coach Larry Blakeney who is entering his 18th season at Troy. He has had success at every level from Division II on up.
The offense was the best in the SBC but the important pieces that got it there need to be replaced. It starts at quarterback where two-time Sun Belt Offensive Player of the Year Omar Haugabook has moved on. Likely to take over is sophomore Jamie Hampton, who took the lead after the spring. The problem is that there is no running game to fall back on until the quarterback situation is resolved. Haugabook and Kenny Cattouse combined for 1,647 yards and leading returnee DuJuan Harris comes in with just 372 yards.
The defense also finished best in the conference, yielding only 378.3 ypg. While seven starters return from that solid unit, two of the best players have departed and both are from the secondary that finished 10th in the nation in passing defense. The cupboard is not bare however as both safeties along with nickel back return. Boris Lee, the junior middle linebacker who led the team in tackles with 82 is also back. Only one of the front four needs to be replaced so the defensive line is in fine shape.
Troy has never been shy about scheduling tough games and this year is no exception. The non-conference slate features games at LSU, Ohio St. and Oklahoma St. along with a home game against Alcorn St. The last three games of the season are at home but could be meaningless. A loss at home last season to Florida Atlantic prevented a bowl game so it is revenge time as the early season game in Boca Raton will have huge ramifications. The Trojans will likely be an overvalued team after going 8-3 ATS in 2007.