Before we get you some information on the Troy Trojans from the Dothan Eagle's Troy beat writer Drew Champlin, here are some updates from Thursday's practice.
There were some readers that posted in the last blog that we've been writing too much about T.Y. Hilton in the last couple of posts. Well, the GPP's customer service department suggested we make this post a 100% TY--free post. (Yes, I know I got this idea from Sports Illustrated and their No. 4 Brett Favre-free issue) So here's a blog that I wrote during today's practice.
Among the receivers that practiced were Greg Ellingson, Ty Frierson, Wayne Times, Marquis Rolle, Jacob Younger, Ariel Martinez, Rockey Vann, Jairus Williams, Larry McCoy and wait there looks like a 4 practicing, no wait that's No. 84, Elliott Dix (right, thanks Sam Lewis photo)
Now wait a minute, OK, here's the 4 we know and remember as he's running hard down the field. Oops didn't see the other 4 on his jersey. That would be No. 44 Scott Bryant (left, thanks Roy Viera photo).
However, there was a former Miami Springs receiver that was running routes and catching passes during individual drills and I'm going to let you guess his jersey number. (Hint: it's an even number between 3 & 5)
For those that don't want to read about complete injury updates from Thursday's practice, then now is the time to type some other address into your web browser. You can come back to the GPP, after skipping the following paragraph or just scroll down to get Troy information.
MC's take after practice Thursday on freshman All-American No. 4, who is a former Miami Springs standout receiver:
"We are happy that he is progressing. Whether he’s game ready we won’t know until game time . . . It’s going to be him coming out here [on game day] and the doctor watching him run around and we’ll go from there.”
On to Troy....
1) How often does Troy run the Wildcat out of their offense and which Trojan runs that scheme the best?
Drew: They've done it more and more as the season has gone along. Troy did it once in the first half with Jerrel Jernigan, but a few more times in the second half with Dantavious Parker. I hesitate to call it the Wildcat with Parker, because he's a legit QB, but he's a guy that can really run the ball. He runs the scheme the best because he can also throw the ball. He'll fight for the starting QB spot next year.
2) What are the strengths of the Trojans offense and where are the Trojans vulnerable on offense?
Drew: Starting QB Levi Brown is very accurate and he's got some weapons that can go deep, like sophomore Chip Reeves. TeBiarus Gill and Josh Jarboe are deep threats, but have been hampered with nagging injuries lately. Of course, there's Jerrel Jernigan who is to Troy what Hilton is to FIU. Other receivers, such as Cornelius Williams and Zack Marcum, are solid guys that can catch and run. The run game has been spotty, but no one has had a breakout game yet because carries are being more divided this year between two guys - 1,000-yard rusher DuJuan Harris and freshman Shawn Southward. Where Troy would be most vulnerable is if guys like Gill and Jarboe continue to be banged up, but I think both will be ready Saturday.
3) FIU has been praising the Troy front seven on defense. If you were FIU coach Mario Cristobal, how would you go about attacking Troy's defense?
Drew: Short, quick passes to speed guys and hope you can break some tackles. Troy's front line can really get to the QB and the linebackers are as good as they come, so I'd be putting pressure on the secondary, which had four new starters this year and isn't that deep.
4) Do your best John Madden or Cris Collinsworth and tell us how FIU finds a way to pull off the upset?
Drew: It happens because FIU feeds off an energetic home crowd (assuming it's energetic), scores very early, maybe on the opening kickoff or a defensive score, and never lets Troy get a feel for the game. Arkansas State went up 10-0 on Troy, but never completely had momentum. Also, FIU must win the turnover battle if it wants to pull off the upset. I'd hate to say a key player or two needs to get hurt for Troy, but I think Troy wins at ULM last year if linebacker Bear Woods was healthy.
5) Your game prediction and final score?
Drew: If FIU was 4-1 or at the least 2-0 in the league and without those injuries, I'd think they had a better shot to pull off the upset. The Golden Panthers will get their points, but Troy's offense is really in high gear. Could be several big plays on both sides. I'll go Troy 34-20.
Will have the GPP's Troy/FIU preview and prediction on here at some point Friday.
1) Starting last week vs. WKU, I increased the size of the window to its maximum, but the way the blog program works by making the window larger it takes away the scroll button. However, you can still view previous comments by using your arrow keys.
2) Also, there are only 25 spots to be an unmoderated reader/commentator which allows you to post comments without my approval.
If you are 1 of the first 25 to log-on on Saturday AND I think you will contribute some worthwhile comments then I will go ahead and approve you as unmoderated.
After the 25 spots are taken up, I then have to approve each comment from each reader. So if your comment takes a minute or so to show up it's because I'm busy either writing down the previous play for my notes on the game, working on the FIU/Troy notebook for Sunday's paper or posting on the blog at the moment. At that time, I am not able to publish what you posted, but I will eventually get to it.
Ultimate FIU Fan: Pete, probabilities of TY playing on Sat.?
PP: I'm not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV, but if you asked me for a guess I would say 90% chance that he plays. He looked better today running around and catching passes.
chiapanther: why is freddy pic on basketball page?
PP: Already relayed the message to the FIU athletic department.
pantherpual: Pete we understand that TY Hilton is a prtetty good player but come dude, can you post an article on some of the other players at times?
PP: How about this post above talking about all the other receivers. Plus, Winston Fraser, Scott Bryant, Rupert Bryan, Darian Mallary and Emmanuel Souarin.
zintutor: Pete wouldn't a red shirt be worth giving Junior Mertile if he is behind on rehabing his knee injury?
PP: Both Junior and Dudley LaPorte are eligibile for redshirts since they have played in less than 30 percent of the team's games. Yes, if JM is behind then a redshirt would be the way to go.