Troy Football holds weekly news conference - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Troy Football holds weekly news conference

Troy head coach Larry Blakeney

Opening Statement

"The previous game was a game that we looked at in the preseason, looking at the schedule we were supposed to win. I thought our kids handled it well. We didn't make too many mistakes, except for the penalties in the first half, but we trimmed that down considerably in the second half. I mentioned their head coach Earnest Wilson III, he's been there since June 7 and he's probably been trying to get things organized and take care of those kids. To their credit they played hard and a clean game. Certainly things should have and did tilt our way in the final. We're 2-0 and now we facing a trip to Jonesboro and playing Arkansas State, who has gotten us the last two years, won the conference championships and played in a bowl. Looking forward to seeing how good we are and seeing if we are better. I think we are and they are a good team. They really played well against Auburn and we've got our hands full. We're going to try to make it a positive trip."

On quarterback Corey Robinson's completion percentage

"Right now we're throwing and catching pretty well. Corey has completed 91 percent of his passes and we did not turn it over the other night and that's a positive. We picked up two turnovers, which is good for them because it gave us extra possessions. You've got to have a hunger for those kind of things and maybe that will get us going. The kicking game was neutral, they didn't punt to us much and only kicked off twice. Overall, I thought we had good effort. I thought all in all, it was a good performance and I think we can build on the performance. We gained some confidence and its always good going to game like Arkansas State."

On Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Week Jadarius Garner's performance versus Savannah State

"Well Jadarius [Garner] should have played more last week. The possessions got tight against UAB and we decided to go more with the first team out there. Probably should have played him more then. He's a good football player and he's a guy that can really help us. Getting him positive experience in the course of the [Savannah State] game could really help him."

On finding depth against Savannah State

"It gives us confidence in our depth. You can only travel 70 guys in a conference game so that quantifies it. If he can play, we're going to try to find him a spot on the roster and on the bus. It helps our confidence level and their confidence level being able to put them in the game."

On Thursday night's game at Arkansas State

"It's a week-to-week deal. In my opinion they're the best team we've played. I don't think it's an end all if you don't win, but it certainly helps putting you a leg up if you do win. We've got a tough schedule; Savannah State is the last of any games that we're supposed to win. We've only got three more home games and you know I think we're where we hope to be, but I think we've got to improve and get better this week and try to win the game. That will certainly be our goal and quest to try to win this game. If you don't win it, then you've got to prepare for two non-conference games and then Homecoming. After that it's conference the whole way except for Ole Miss.

On a preparing for a Thursday game

"We've got to tighten things down earlier and start earlier. Hopefully we'll get a three-day prep, which is what we normally get. Sunday is a ‘put the game to rest' or loosen day, then have an off day on Monday. Now we have to practice on Sunday, practice on Monday night which is their normal off day and you have to practice at night because they have class, then practice on Tuesday which is normally is like a Thursday. It is a schedule buster and you have to deal with that. TV tells us when to play and I think if you have a good attitude about playing mid-week games in can be a positive because you can rest your guys a bit on the back end."

On Robinson's national publicity during Troy's first two games

"Well it's thrilling to see. 91 percent is going to get you some national publicity. We've got to not take that for granted, it takes work for that to happen, it takes 11 people for that to happen, it takes pass protection, it takes great catches to make that happen. Our passing game is a progression-read passing game and you don't have much time to progress because four or five big ugly guys are usually trying to tackle you. We've got a lot of good guys at receiver and we've got confidence in our quarterback."

On where Arkansas State ranks in the Sun Belt

"I think they are right at the top of the league again. They've got a lot of good players. Oku is probably one of the best in the league. Defensively, they are diverse scheme wise. They can give you about anything and they've got a nose-tackle that weighs a bunch and is hard to stop. Coach [Bryan] Harsin and his staff, John Thompson, defensively, they are great coaches. We are going to try our best to deal with them."


Troy safety Cam Hudson

On Troy's defense matchup with Arkansas State's offense

"Their passing game had the best receiving duo in a long time along with their quarterback play. They've lost those guys, but they still have good players at those spots."

On Troy's confidence on defense

"Confidence level is great and we believe that we're one. We've done really well in the run defense and we still have things to work on in our passing game, but we can get it done."

On this week's preparation

"We had practiced last night, we have it tonight and we'll have one more tomorrow. So we've got a lot of stuff to get done in those three practices"


Troy quarterback Corey Robinson

On his performance through the first two games

"I've been feeling good the last few weeks and my guys are making plays for me. That's all you can ask as a quarterback."

On Troy's momentum heading into this week's game

"We're 2-0 and that's all I can ask for. I want to keep this win streak going and we've got some good momentum going into the game and hopefully we can carry it over to this week."

On trying to earn a win to open conference play

""Huge. Our first conference win would put us at the top even if it's after one game. They've shown steady improvement. They've won the conference two years in a row and had two 10-win seasons. They are at the top and have the target on the back like we used to have. We've got to go out there and go take it away from them."

On Arkansas State's defense

"They are athletic. They've always had some good athletes on that side of the football. We're going to have to outsmart them and we've got some good athletes on offense. I think it's a good matchup and hopefully we can come out on top with no turnovers."

INFORMATION SOURCE: Troy Athletics Dept.

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