View Full Version : Troy knows its way is San Jose

12-06-2004, 09:48 AM

Monday, December 06, 2004
News staff writer

The Troy University Trojans have come a long way since jumping into Division I-A college football.

After just four seasons in the big-time, the Trojans are going a long way to play in their first bowl game - the Silicon Valley Football Classic in San Jose, Calif., on Dec.30.

Troy, 7-4 overall and 5-2 in the Sun Belt Conference, will play Northern Illinois. The Huskies finished 8-3, including 7-1 in the Mid-American Conference, second to league champ Toledo in the West Division of the MAC.

The fifth Silicon Valley Football Classic kicks off at 10 p.m. (CST) and will be televised on ESPN2.

"This is huge for us," said Troy head coach Larry Blakeney. "We were really hoping to crack the egg and get in. We knew several weeks ago it was going to be close with the number of teams qualified and the number of slots open.

"It was a stressful eight days of working on it pretty hard. You've got to spend a lot of time on the phone and may have to go some places to meet people. We even sent out a highlight tape. It's been a lot of fun, too. We talked to a lot of nice people, and hopefully that will help us down the road."

Blakeney said interim Athletics Director Scott Farmer "did a tremendous amount of work," and former AD Johnny Williams also helped the Trojans' effort.

Northern Illinois had been considered a strong choice for the Independence Bowl, but when the Shreveport committee got Iowa State instead of Oklahoma State from the Big 12 it pushed NIU out to avoid a rematch with the Cyclones.

Troy will return to the practice field either Thursday or Friday following finals and will travel to San Jose on Dec.27.

"We have one or two of our coaches who need to go out and recruit," Blakeney said. "We'll probably get some recruits to come on unofficial visits to watch bowl practice. That's one of those things that I've heard other teams around the state do.

"We'll never realize what our first bowl game will mean for us. Now the thing is to go and play well and present our program well on national TV."

E-mail: mperrin@bhamnews.com

12-06-2004, 02:44 PM
There's something I hadn't thought of. You can now tell recruits you are practicing for a bowl game.