September 5, 2010
Trojans outlast Falcons, 30-27 By Greg Rossino The Messenger
A late field goal was all that separated the Troy Trojans from a win in the last game of the 2009 season. A little over nine months later, it was a late field goal that helped the men of Troy to its first victory of the 2010 season. In a game which saw both the Trojans and the Bowling Green Falcons take leads and lose leads, it was the home team that was the last standing when it was all said and done, thanks to a Michael Taylor field goal with four seconds left on the clock to lift Troy to a 30-27 win. “I knew this was going to be a tough game,” head coach Larry Blakeney said. “But, I’d much rather come away with a ‘W’ than start the season off with a loss.” The game-winning field goal was set up thanks to a key Falcon turnover with under two minutes remaining in the game. After Taylor missed a 51-yard attempt earlier in the final quarter, the Bowling Green took over for its own shot at victory. However, sophomore defensive lineman, Tony Davis, made sure that would not happen, intercepting a Matt Schilz pass and in the process, giving Troy the upper hand. “You always hope the defense will make the stops in situations like that,” Blakeney said about the last Falcon drive. “It was a great play (by Davis). I was prepared for (Bowling Green) to go down and score. But this defense, when it was dead on the line, they rose up. “It was a great play by the defense and one that I hope they use and learn from,” the coach added. Before the late heroics, both teams fought back and fourth. For Troy, there was a new face leading the offense at quarterback in redshirt freshman Corey Robinson. Despite some first half turnovers, the signal caller showed why he was the final choice to lead the Trojans. Robinson finished his first collegiate start throwing for 252 yards, one yard shy of tying Levi Brown’s record for most yards in a first start, on 25 of 37 passes, one of which was good for 38 yards and a touchdown to Jason Bruce. “Games don’t get more exciting than
that,” Robinson said after the game. “We knew we had a chance to win when we got that turnover. That (interception) change the momentum and we knew that if we gave Mikey a chance to win it, he would. “This (game) shows what this team is made of. We got some good veterans who made some plays (Saturday) and we got some good new guys who made some plays as well.” One of those veterans the young quarterback was referring to was senior wide receiver, Jerrel Jernigan. And as he had before, the multipurpose Trojan was seen in many different spots on the field, in several key drives. Under the Wildcat formation, Jernigan rushed for 59 yards and a touchdown, while adding on another 40 yards receiving off of six receptions. “This was a big win for us,” he said. “We had some young guys who got a lot of good experience because of this game.” As for his “other” position, the senior said he has as much fun with it as he does as being a receiver. “It’s always fun (to run in the Wildcat),” he said. “I think the defense knows that I am going to run the football, so it’s always a challenge for me to try and find the space I need to move the football. “I might get a chance to throw (the football) later on in the season though,” he said with a laugh. It was not all laughs for the Trojans for much of the first half of the game, as the Falcons jumped out to two early leads in the first quarter. Behind the arm of quarterback Schilz and the legs of running back Willie Geter, the Falcons were able to move the ball at will against the Troy defense. The first score of the game took place when Geter ran 35-yards to the end zone. Schilz would put his team on the score board again, thanks to a three-yard pitch and catch with wide receiver Adrian Hodges at the end of the quarter. Sandwiched in between those two scores was Robinson’s touchdown pass to Bruce. In the second quarter, both team exchanged field goals before a Shawn Southward one-yard touchdown run knotted things up at 17 apiece heading into the half.
Above, Jason Bruce takes a Corey Robinson pass to the end zone for a Troy touchdown during Troy’s 30-27 win over Bowling Green Saturday. Left, the Trojans prepare to run out of the tunnel just prior to Saturday’s 2010 season opener against the Falcons of Bowling Green.
September 5, 2010
If there’s a will, there’s a way By Greg Rossino The Messenger
There are very few times of the year that are more anticipated and welcomed than the beginning of September. Sure, Labor Day means a long holiday for most but this time of year represents something worth celebrating more than just a Monday off. For the next four months, college football is here to stay. And with that being said, so begins another season of Trojan football. Not unlike any other season, there are questions surrounding this current Troy team. Is the defense going to be good? Will Corey Robinson be able to maintain the high octane offense? Can Troy make it five-straight conference championships in-a-row? Obviously, right now, there is no way of answering any of those questions. But the one thing I have learned after following this program for almost a decade – this team comes up with the answers. PHOTO/Thomas Graning Are the methods to getting those answers conQuarterback Corey Robinson looks to avoid a Falcon defender and get a pass away during Troy’s 30-27 win over Bowling Green Saturday. Robinson and Jamie ventional? Sometimes, no. Hampton engaged in a fierce position battle throughout practice, but it appears as if Robinson has secured the majority of the snaps. But in the end, does that really matter? No. All anyone, especially fans, want are answers and that is something that Larry Blakeney and his crew have been able to provide for the past couple of seasons and hopefully for the foreseeable future. Saturday night’s win was a key example. The Trojans came in with an inexperienced Kentucky didn’t break the record, he does know a Even with two early interceptions in the first half, By Greg Rossino defense and a rookie quarterback and found a way thing or two about setting records. when the game mattered, Robinson did all he could The Messenger In his senior season at Lone Oak High School to put his team in the best position to win – includ- to win. While expectations for this season’s team may It was a day of firsts for Corey Robinson Saturday back in 2007, Robinson finished with a state-record ing sacrificing his body. not be as high as the 2009 squad, anyone that left night. of 5,872 yards and a national record of 91 touchAfter getting his team in field goal range thanks Along with his first career collegiate start at downs. to three consecutive passes for 33 yards, Robinson Veterans Memorial Stadium that evening felt pretty good about they saw. quarterback, he felt the joys of throwing his first Before this game of firsts, there was some ques- found himself in a position to get more yards on a Did the team struggle at times? Of course. touchdown, the lows of throwing his first two intertion about whether or not Robinson would be given quarterback scramble. But what this team did was outstanding. ceptions and the pains of his first Division I sack. the opportunity to lead the team. As he slid to the ground, Falcon defender Eugene They have critics naysaying, and an entire conferBut in the end, the Paducah, Ky., native got the For the past couple of months, Robinson and fel- Fells collided with the quarterback, helmet first. ence gunning for them. thing he wanted the most – Troy’s first win of the low quarterback, Jamie Hampton, fought for the “It didn’t hurt that bad,” Robinson said. “I had But will they back down to those types of presseason. right to be named starter. been hit harder than that before.” sures? “It felt good to be out there,” he said after the And while no starter was named with just days Not only did the former Trojan scout team memgame. “This was an exciting game. remaining before the first game, it was Robinson ber give his team five yards, but the penalty from A Special Publication of “There is always going to pressure playing as the who emerged as the signal caller during the Trojans the play put Troy in an excellent chance to win the quarterback, but I think (the first game) went well. first offensive possession of the season against the game. “I still have to get in a lot of work,” he added. Bowling Green Falcons. And two plays later, that was exactly what hapStacy Graning - Publisher The Trojan signal caller handled the pressure he “Jamie is a great competitor. We both have been pened thanks to a 34-yard Michael Taylor field goal. Greg Rossino - Sports Editor faced fairly well, completing 25-of-37 passes for working hard for this moment and I think either one “It felt good to get this win,” Robinson said. Nick Duke - Sports Reporter 252 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. of us could lead the team,” Robinson said earlier in “I made a couple of bad decisions, but everyone Perry Brown - Graphic Designer His 252 yards was just two yards shy of breaking the week. kept picking me up. I went out there and played my Thomas Graning – Photographer the school record for most yards in a first start, but “Our coach did a good job of preparing us during game and did everything I could to help get this 918 S. Brundidge St. • Troy, AL 36081 while the 2008 recruit and former Mr. Football of the summer.” team a win.” www.troymessenger.com • www.picturepike.com
Robinson shines in debut
September 5, 2010
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September 5, 2010
PHOTO/Todd van Emst
Above, new Auburn quarterback Cam Newton gets ready to run onto the field for his Tiger debut Saturday against Arkansas State.
Newton has big debut in Auburn win AUBURN, Ala. -- Making his first start, quarterback Cam Newton ran for 171 yards and two touchdowns and passed for 186 yards and three more scores to help No. 22 Auburn beat overmatched Arkansas State 52-26 on Saturday night. Newton, a junior college transfer who started his career at Florida, brought the crowd to its feet late in the second quarter when he scored on a 71-yard touchdown run, dashing up the middle on a keeper. That made the score 35-16, Tigers, at halftime. Freshman running back Michael Dyer ran 14 times for 95 yards and one touchdown for Auburn, while Quindarius Carr caught two passes for 87 yards and a touchdown for the Tigers. For Arkansas State, Ryan Aplin completed 28-of42 passes for 278 yards and one score. Dwayne Frampton caught eight passes for 74 yards and one touchdown for the Red Wolves. Auburn tried to give the game away early in the third quarter by fumbling twice in the first two minutes of the second half. The Red Wolves cut the score to 35-23 after the
first fumble on an 8-yard run by Derek Lawson. Auburn played without linebacker Craig Stevens, the second-leading tackler for the Tigers last season. Head coach Gene Chizik said Stevens was suspended for the game for disciplinary reasons, but he would not say what Stevens did wrong. The Red Wolves put a scare into the Tigers early, taking a 6-0 lead at 5:18 in the first quarter on a 10-yard pass from Ryan Aplin to Dwayne Frampton. The score was set up by a 61-yard completion down the sideline from Aplin to Allen Muse. Then Newton got into gear, leading Auburn on a scoring drive that ended on a 3-yard scoring run by Kodi Burns, a former quarterback. The next time the Tigers got the ball, it took Newton just one play to find the end zone as he hit Mario Fannin with a 36-yard scoring pass. He also scored on a 2-yard run and threw a 48-yard TD pass to Quindarius Carr. The Red Wolves scored in the second quarter on a 13-yard run by Jermaine Robertson and a 26-yard field goal by Brian Davis.
Above, the recently expanded Bryant-Denny Stadium is packed with Alabama fans watching the Crimson Tide’s season-opening win over San Jose State Saturday.
Tide roll over Spartans 48-3 in season opener TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Trent Richardson ran for two touchdowns and Greg McElroy passed for 218 yards to help No. 1 Alabama beat San Jose State 48-3 on Saturday night. The defending national champion Crimson Tide (1-0) shrugged off the absence of injured Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram and suspended defensive end Marcell Dareus in the opening mismatch. The subs played much of the game, anyway, after the Tide raced to a 31-3 halftime lead over the Spartans. Richardson ran for 66 yards and had three catches for 46 yards before sitting out the second half. He scored on runs of 4 and 39 yards for an offense that uncorked plenty of big plays. Julio Jones made the most dramatic with a diving, one-handed grab for a 29-yard touchdown from backup quarterback A.J. McCarron early in the second quarter. He finished with six catches for 93 yards and gained 13 yards on an end around to set up the Tide’s first touchdown. Alabama outgained the Spartans 591-175. McElroy mostly seemed to be playing pitch and catch, completing 13 of 15 passes but leaving after only one series of the second half. He had a
48-yard touchdown pass to a wide-open Marquis Maze on a go route down the right sideline. The Tide had seven first-time starters on defense, but wasn’t challenged by an offense that averaged 13.8 points last season. The first down totals best told the tale of the lopsided game: Alabama 30, San Jose State 7. All in all, it was practically a scrimmage designed to break in the newly expanded Bryant-Denny Stadium, and polish off a difficult week. The crowd was announced as a capacity 101,821 fans. They got to see their Tide — which has lost two games the past two season — beat up on a team that only won a pair last season. Ingram had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee after injuring it late in Monday’s practice. He watched from the sidelines in his No. 22 jersey and sweat pants. Dareus was declared ineligible for two games on Thursday for accepting improper benefits from an agent in taking two trips to Miami. Alabama is appealing, but there’s no guarantee either will be back for next week’s showdown with No. 19 Penn State.
September 5, 2010
Around the LSU 30,
N. Carolina 24 Miami (Ohio) 12
PHOTO/Courtesy JSU athletic department
Above, members of the JSU football team celebrate following the Gamecocks’ win over Ole Miss in double overtime saturday.
Jacksonville State stuns Ole Miss in double OT OXFORD, Miss. (AP) — On the final crazy play of a crazy game, Jacksonville State running back Calvin Middleton found himself in the middle of a mass of bodies as quarterback Coty Blanchard lofted a 2-point conversion pass toward the end zone. Somehow, through the arms and legs, Middleton came down with the football as the Gamecocks celebrated a stunning 49-48 victory over Mississippi in double overtime. “The coaches called a shovel pass,” Middleton said. “I don’t even know if (Blanchard) saw me, but I knew if I could catch it I was deep enough in the end zone to score. “This means everything.” Blanchard threw a 30-yard touchdown pass to Kevyn Cooper on fourth-and-15 to pull within 48-47 in the second overtime. It looked like the two teams might play all night, but then Gamecocks coach Jack Crowe made the call to go for the win in the season opener for both teams. “I just didn’t think we could play defense again,” Crowe said. Crowe, who had tears in his eyes during the postgame press conference, was fired as coach at
Arkansas in 1992 after his team lost to The Citadel — which was also a lower-level program. “If you stay in this long enough, it goes both ways,” Crowe said. Jacksonville State, a Football Championship Subdivision team from the Ohio Valley Conference, trailed 31-10 at halftime but outscored Ole Miss 21-3 in the fourth quarter to force overtime. “Without a doubt, it’s the worst loss of my career,” Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt said. It’s the first time Jacksonville State has beaten a Football Bowl Subdivision team since Sept. 27, 2001, when the Gamecocks beat Arkansas State. The 21-point deficit was the largest Jacksonville State has overcome in school history. Jeremiah Masoli made his much-anticipated debut for Mississippi after being cleared by the NCAA on Friday. He completed 7 of 10 passes for 109 yards and one interception and led the Rebels on both of their touchdown drives in overtime. Like the rest of his teammates, he had a hard time explaining the collapse. “Crazy stuff happens sometimes,” Masoli said. “I never expected us to be in overtime.”
ATLANTA -- Against all odds, undermanned North Carolina nearly rallied from a 20-point halftime deficit before losing 30-24 to LSU on Saturday night. Patrick Peterson had 257 yards -- including an 87-yard touchdown -- on kickoff and punt returns, leading No. 21 LSU (1-0) to a 30-10 halftime lead. Not surprising, given the Tar Heels were missing 13 key players because of an NCAA investigation over relationships with agents and possible academic violations. But No. 18 North Carolina (0-1) made a game of it, scoring two second-half touchdowns, then getting two shots at the win after recovering an onside kick and a fumble. T.J. Yates drove the Heels to the LSU 2-yard line and got off a pair of passes into the end zone after throwing for a career-high 412 yards. Both slipped through the hands of Zack Pianalto. Hey, give the Tar Heels credit -- it looked as though they were headed for a blowout.
Arkansas 44, Tennessee Tech 3 FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- Ryan Mallett’s Heisman Trophy campaign began as planned, and he had plenty of help from one of the Southeastern Conference’s most dynamic receivers. Mallett threw for 301 yards and three touchdowns, two of them to Joe Adams, and No. 17 Arkansas breezed to a 44-3 win over Tennessee Tech on Saturday night. The Razorbacks, sporting their highest preseason ranking since 1990, recovered quickly from a sloppy start thanks to Mallett’s accuracy and Adams’ elusiveness. Adams caught six passes for 138 yards. Mallett threw for 30 touchdowns a season ago and became an immediate Heisman candidate when he decided to pass up the NFL for another season with the Razorbacks. He missed on just two of his first 18 throws, with the only blemishes a deflected pass that was intercepted and a dropped ball by a receiver that should have been a touchdown. He finished the night 21 of 24.
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Just minutes after Florida’s season opener ended, even before players and coaches walked off the field, the scoreboards went blank. Even with a victory, the Gators were more than ready to erase the memory of this one. No. 4 Florida opened the post-Tim Tebow era with a resounding thud, maybe the sound of high expectations crashing to the ground. Yes, the Gators got four interceptions, several red-zone stops and two late touchdowns to beat heavy underdog Miami (Ohio) 34-12 Saturday. But the real story was coach Urban Meyer’s anemic offense, the one quarterback John Brantley had hoped to “keep rolling” after waiting three years behind Tebow. Instead, Brantley and the Gators spent most of the game in reverse. “I didn’t imagine the offense’s incompetence that we experienced today,” Meyer said.
Kentucky 23, Louisville 16 LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Derrick Locke ran for two touchdowns and Kentucky held off rival Louisville 23-16 Saturday, keeping the Governor’s Cup for the fourth straight season and making Joker Phillips victorious in a matchup of longtime friends debuting as head coaches. Phillips, who gained prominence as a coordinator of a record-breaking offense at his alma mater, has hinted this 2010 version could be as good as the Andre Woodson-led unit of three and four years ago. The Wildcats didn’t disappoint in the opener, gobbling up yardage in bulk -- particularly on the ground from Locke, who had 104 yards on 23 carries. For Charlie Strong, who once coached alongside Phillips at South Carolina and more recently guided Florida’s dominating defense to two national titles in seven years, the rebuilding project has begun at Louisville. Kentucky scored all but three of its points in the first half before the offense began to stall.
September 5, 2010
Around the Clemson 35, North Texas 10 CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) - Andre Ellington and Jamie Harper each scored twice for Clemson in a 35-10 victory over North Texas on Saturday that showed there’s life for the Tigers without ACC player of the year C.J. Spiller. Ellington got things going with a 60-yard scoring run on Clemson’s second snap just 16 seconds into the game. He added a 14-yard run in the third quarter. Harper caught an 8-yard touchdown pass seconds before halftime. He ended the scoring for the Tigers with a 3-yard run. Ellington ended with 122 yards and Harper 102, the first time Clemson’s had two rushers top the century mark since its “Thunder and Lightning” combo of James Davis and Spiller accomplished it against Maryland in 2007.
Nebraska 49, Western Kentucky 10
Above, Georgia players celebrate with quarterback Aaron Murray following one of his four touchdowns in the Bulldogs’ 55-7 win over Louisiana-Lafayette saturday.
Georgia blasts ULL 55-7 in Murray’s debut ATHENS, Ga. -- Aaron Murray loves to flash his athleticism. Georgia coach Mark Richt just wants his quarterback to stay healthy. “A couple of times when he was out of the pocket he could’ve just simply thrown the ball out of bounds,” Richt said. “When he decides to turn it upfield and try to dodge people, he’s going to get splattered if he does that over and over.” Murray passed for three touchdowns and ran for another in leading No. 23 Georgia to a 55-7 victory over Louisiana-Lafayette on Saturday. Despite the absence of top receiver A.J. Green, Murray completed 16 of 24 passes for 194 yards in his first college game. Kris Durham caught two TD passes. Murray ran four times for 41 yards. On a 16-yard scramble down the right sideline near the end of the first half, he reached out to hold the ball inside the front pylon for a 31-7 halftime lead. The Bulldogs had 8 seconds left when Murray took the snap and saw his receivers covered. Instead of throwing the ball away and giving Georgia a chance for almost certain points with a short field goal, he decided to aim for the goal line. “I need to work on making decisions,” Murray said, “that will always get us points at the end of the half.”
Cornerback Jakar Hamilton, who had one of three interceptions, returned a fourth-quarter pick for a 17-yard touchdown that made it 55-7. Georgia (1-0) visits South Carolina next week. Louisiana-Lafayette (0-1) scored on Chris Masson’s 60-yard pass to Ladarius Green late in the second quarter. Green, a junior All-Southeastern Conference first-team selection last year, watched the game from the sidelines as Georgia awaits an NCAA ruling to clarify his playing status. The Bulldogs did not announce that Green would miss the game until a few hours before kickoff. The NCAA is investigating if he was one of several players from different schools to attend a party hosted by a sports agent in Miami. Green said he has never been to Miami. Starting tailback Washaun Ealey, one of nine Georgia players arrested this year, missed the game, too. Richt held him out following police charges of hit and run and driving with a suspended license last week. Richt indicated after the game that Ealey will play at South Carolina, but the coach declined to comment on Green. Carlton Thomas rushed 12 times for 61 yards. Caleb King’s 20-yard run made it 7-0 late in the first quarter.
Lincoln - Redshirt freshman quarterback Taylor Martinez made an impressive college debut by rushing for 127 yards and three touchdowns on just seven carries to help No. 8 Nebraska sprint to a 49-10 seasonopening win over Western Kentucky at Memorial Stadium on Saturday night. Martinez, who became the first Husker freshman quarterback in history to start a season opener, made his debut in front of the NCAA-record 305th consecutive sellout at Memorial Stadium with 85,555 on hand and an FSN pay-per-view audience at home. On his first career carry, Martinez sprinted 46 yards for a touchdown to give Nebraska a 7-0 lead less than three minutes into the game. The 6-1, 195-pound speedster from Corona, Calif., also completed all four of his first-quarter pass attempts for 59 yards to help NU to a quick 14-0 lead. After sophomore quarterback Cody Green led the Huskers on a successful second-quarter scoring drive to put Nebraska up 21-0 at the half, Martinez found the end zone again on the first drive of the second half. Martinez raced 43 yards on his first carry of the drive, before dashing 19 yards up the middle to the end zone to cap a four-play, 68-yard drive that put NU up 28-0. The touchdown run also pushed him over the 100-yard mark to make him the first NU quarterback to rush for 100 yards since Jammal Lord against Texas A&M in 2003. Martinez, who averaged better than 18 yards per carry, produced the most rushing yards by an NU quarterback in a season-opening game since Tommie Frazier rushed for 130 yards against West Virginia in 1994. In addition to his impressive rushing numbers, Martinez completed 9-of-15 passes for 136 yards to finish with 263 yards of total offense. He also did not commit a turnover. While Martinez took center stage as the starter, which was not announced officially until he took the field for the first snap, sophomore quarterback Cody Green was also impressive. Green a 6-4, 225-pounder from Dayton, Texas, completed 5-of-6 passes for 66 yards while leading the Huskers on a pair of scoring drives. Green’s first drive was a seven-play, 34-yard march that was capped by Roy Helu Jr.’s three-yard touchdown run with 5:49 left in the second quarter. Green, who also rushed three times for 17 yards, led the Huskers on another seven-play march in the fourth quarter, with the exclamation point coming on his 33-yard scoring strike to Niles Paul to give Nebraska a 42-10 lead with 9:45 left in the game. Paul finished with five catches for 92 yards and a score, while adding one carry for eight yards. He also returned three punts for 58 yards to close the night with 158 all-purpose yards. Junior wide receiver Brandon Kinnie also enjoyed a big night for NU, hauling in a career-high six catches for 59 yards, while sophomore I-back Rex Burkhead added a pair of catches for 47 yards out of the backfield. Burkhead also enjoyed an explosive night on the ground, carrying five times for 57 yards to average nearly 15 yards per touch.
September 5, 2010
1 Alabama (54) 2 Ohio State (3) 3 Boise St. (1) 4 Florida 5 Texas (1) 6 TCU 7 Oklahoma (1) 8 Nebraska 9 Iowa 10 Virginia Tech 11 Oregon 12 Wisconsin 13 Miami (FL)
1-0 1-0 0-0 1-0 1-0 1-0 1-0 1-0 1-0 0-0 1-0 1-0 1-0
14 USC 15 Pittsburgh 16 Georgia Tech 17 Arkansas 18 North Carolina 19 Penn State 20 Florida St. 21 LSU 22 Auburn 23 Georgia 24 Oregon St. 25 West Virginia
1-0 0-1 1-0 1-0 0-1 1-0 1-0 1-0 1-0 1-0 0-1 1-0
Sun Belt Standings
EAST CONF Georgia 0-0 Florida 0-0 Kentucky 0-0 South Carolina 0-0 Tennesse 0-0 Vanderbillt 0-0
OVERALL 1-0 1-0 1-0 1-0 1-0 0-1
WEST Alabama Arkansas Auburn LSU Miss. State Mississippi
OVERALL 1-0 1-0 1-0 1-0 1-0 0-1
CONF 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0
Arkansas State Florida Atlantic Florida International Louisiana-Lafayette Louisiana-Monroe Middle Tenn. State North Texas Troy Western Kentucky
0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0
0-1 1-0 0-0 0-1 0-0 0-1 0-1 1-0 0-1
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