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kiwan
10-21-2005, 08:42 AM
TROY - It was a game that the late Al Lucas would have loved.

It was also a game that he would have shined in.

The Troy Trojans didnít set the world on fire with an 18-13 win over Sun Belt bottom-feeder Florida International, but relished the win in honor of Lucas, a former Trojan great who died in April after injuries in an Arena Football League game. He was honored before the game.

"He would have loved to be a part of this one," Troy head coach Larry Blakeney said, fighting back tears. "Iíve been real emotional about this all week. He would have gotten the ball on that fourth and one (in the fourth quarter that Troy didnít convert) and ran over somebody to get it.
"It was a sweet, sweet victory."

Sweet because Troy (3-4, 2-2 Sun Belt) hadnít tasted it since Oct. 4 at North Texas. Sweet because, even though it wasnít a blowout like some might have liked, it kept Troy alive in a conference championship race.

"The defense didnít execute like we wanted to and Iím sure the offense would like to have scored more points," Troy linebacker Bernard Davis said. "We came out victorious, and thatís something to build on."

The game came down to turnovers - Troy had three, but forced five crucial ones - and the kicking game, where sophomore Greg Whibbs kicked the Trojans to victory with a go-ahead 48-yard field goal with 12:56 remaining in the game.

That made it 16-13 in favor of Troy, and the Trojans added two more points with 11:15 to go when FIU punter Chris Patullo took a safety after the Golden Panthers had been pinned deep in their own territory.

"Whibbs is very serious about his business on and off the field," Blakeney said. "Heís the guy you like to have in that situation because you know heíll take it for you."

That field goal was the longest in his Troy tenure, though he kicked a 53-yarder in high school without a tee. His three field goals tied a school record. His 34-yarder in the second made it 3-0, and his 32-yarder in the third gave Troy a 13-3 lead.

"It was one of those games where the defense tightened up in the red zone," Whibbs said. "I knew field goals would play a big factor."

True freshman Julian Foster made his first career start at quarterback and fared decent, hitting 12-of-19 for 150 yards with a touchdown and an interception. His 51-yard touchdown pass to Darius Williams was the first career touchdown for both, and Troyís only touchdown.

Troy was held to only 123 yards on the game, but one-upped in that category, holding FIU to 28 yards on 26 carries. The Trojans lost two fumbles on what appeared to be bad exchanges, but FIU lost four fumbles and tossed an interception.

"It came down to the fact we held on to the ball better," said Joel Whinghter, who led Troy with 68 yards on the ground. "It was a guts game. We had to step it up and take what we could."

FIU quarterback Josh Padrick completed 31-of-51 passes for 247 yards, including a 10-yard pass to Julius Eppinger in the third quarter that cut Troyís lead to 13-10.

"Theyíre the most physical team Iíve seen as a passing team," Blakeney said. "Weíre a pretty beat up team right now."

FIU was stopped on fourth down three times in the final eight minutes of the game. The Golden Panthers dropped to 1-5 on the season and have never beaten a Division I-A team in 10 tries.

TrojanWar
10-21-2005, 09:03 AM
Sweet because Troy (3-4, 2-2 Sun Belt) hadnít tasted it since Oct. 4 at North Texas.

Nice Drew, but try getting the record right. We are now 2-1 in Sun Belt play, not 2-2. We have only played NT, ULM, and FIU.

kiwan
10-21-2005, 09:46 AM
Good Eye War!

TrojanWar
10-21-2005, 09:53 AM
Maybe he is expecting a loss at ULL next week. At this point, I think we might get drilled. We almost lost down there last year, and we were much better then. I certainly hope we win out, but I am afraid FIU was the last winnable game on our schedule. I'll be cheering on faith the rest of the season.

tsu59
10-21-2005, 10:59 AM
Sweet because, even though it wasnít a blowout like some might have liked, it kept Troy alive in a conference championship race.


I have mixed feelings about winning the conference - If we win it might look good in the short term - but if we play somebody like USM in the NO Bowl it will probably be a blow-out and make the Sun Belt look weaker than it already does. :?

TrojanWar
10-21-2005, 11:17 AM
I have mixed feelings about winning the conference - If we win it might look good in the short term - but if we play somebody like USM in the NO Bowl it will probably be a blow-out and make the Sun Belt look weaker than it already does. :?

I think that's a given regardless of which Sun Belt team goes to the bowl.