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Troy91
08-31-2005, 04:54 AM
New look Trojans ready for Cal Poly

By Ken Rogers, The Messenger

Forget nervous, Carl Meadows is flat-out excited.

"This is what we've been working for all summer," Troy University's starting quarterback said of Saturday's season opener against Cal Poly. "Every drill, sprint, every pass, they lead up to Saturday night. We're ready."

The team's go-to receiver, Jason Samples, is gone. The school's all-time leading rusher, DeWhitt Betterson, is gone. Four of the five starters on the offensive line are gone.

Meadows replaces last year's freshman sensation D.T. McDowell, who lost his academic eligibility. Still, the transfer from East Tennessee State, who completes an unlikely rise from No. 3 to No. 1 on the depth chart, will make the Trojans' offense go.

Meadows said he isn't concerned with how many offensive players Troy must replace - and the list is considerable. He likes what he has around him.

"We lost those guys, but Gary Banks will make plays at wide receiver," Meadows said. "And Joel (Whinghter) in the backfield, we're not losing much there, either. We've worked hard all summer. We're pretty confident we've prepared for Saturday as well as we can."

Cal Poly has an experienced defense that plays an unconventional style.

"The first few series I want to see how they react to our plays," Meadows said. "We've got to run the ball, definitely. But if they're daring us to throw it, we'll throw it."

Whinghter said he was all for running the ball. After several seasons behind Betterson, he's eager to take the football.

"I've waited long enough. I'm not competing with him anymore," Whinghter said with a smile. "He's gone."


Whinghter said he's impressed with the speed of the Cal Poly defense on film.

"They've got a bunch of fast guys," the senior tailback said. "It's a different defense. They walk their linebackers right up to the line. You know some of them are coming, but you don't know who. Our blitz pickup is going to be key."

Whinghter said despite the new faces along the offensive line, "This is the best offensive line we've had since I've been here. The offense is going to be improved this year."

Offensive coordinator Mark Fleetwood said the improvement of his receiving corps adds versatility and some punch to the attack.

"We had one, two, maybe three guys we could count on in a game," Fleetwood said of last year's receivers. "This year we're actually, genuinely deep there. Gary Banks continues to make things happen. Eugene Hampton has improved tremendously. Josh Allen makes plays. And we've got guys behind those guys. It's a nice position for us to be in."

ksdtrojan
08-31-2005, 08:30 AM
I like CM's confidence. I also like the JW's attitude. He's been hungry for awhile and now is being turned loose to feast. I can't wait for Saturday.[/quote]