Troy Preview 2006 - Further Analysis
Posted Aug 8, 2006

Troy Trojans Preview 2006 - Troy Further Analysis

1st and Ten – Finally – Now, admit it, Troy fans.  The Trojans play some dadgum good football.  You know, we know it and other teams in the SBC know it.  They are physical and they can run.  Defensively, they’ll try to knock you into next week.  But, as you’ve sat in the stands the last few years, watching the offense, oh boy, that was the time you went to the Movie Gallery Stadium concession stand, right?  Well, the good news is that those days may be over with the arrival of Omar Haugabrook at QB.  The juco transfer out of Dodge City Community College arrived this spring with great expectations, after throwing for 5,000+ yards in two seasons at the fabled Kansas junior college.  At 6’2” and 220, Haugabrook is all man and he’s also the biggest key to the Troy season.  To say the Troy offense has been awful over the past two years, well, just ask the fans who are coming back from their trip to get popcorn and a hot dog.  Honestly, they didn’t miss anything, and much of it can be traced back to the poor play of the quarterbacks.  That shouldn’t happen with Haugabrook.  Shouldn’t being the key word.  He’s got exceptional speed for a guy his size and he’s blessed with two receivers, Smokey Hampton and Gary Banks, who’ve craved for a guy to get them the ball more often.  Haugabrook’s presence makes those two guys better and it makes the running game that much better.  Overall, this offense should keep those fans in their seats this year, but then again, given what they’ve seen the last two years, Haugabrook has some work to do to end those bad habits.  Finally, the offense is here.

2nd and Seven – Many happy returns – Although Leodis McKelvin isn’t the household name that, um, well, hmm, okay, let’s just say that he’s not a well known commodity, he’s an explosive punt/kick returner who provided the offense with some offense, actually.  He totaled 57 returns, 24 kickoff returns and 33 punt returns in 2005.  He had a 100 yard kickoff return and a 73 yard punt return.  Consequently, he averaged over 12 yards a punt return and 25+ yards on kickoff returns.  The caveat for the 2006 season is the broken leg that slowed him this spring, but if the man is healthy, look out – he’s a threat every time he touches the ball.  And, that my friends isn’t something to take for granted.

3rd and Three – “The next DeMarcus Ware”? – When #94 took the field throughout his career for Troy, the man took your breath away.  If you didn’t hit the guy next to you and ask if you just saw what that kid did, you were either blind or not really paying attention.  DeMarcus Ware was everything you wanted out of a defensive menace.  Is Kenny Mainor ready to be that great?  Can he be of that ilk?  His coaches think he can be.  The 6’4”, 220 pound defensive end reminds them so much of Ware that the expectations of what he’ll do this year are through the roof.  Mainor started last year as a redshirt freshman, but only picked up half a sack.  He’s got a long way to go before he’s putting up Ware type numbers.  But, then again, the comparison really isn’t fair.  Regardless, Mainor is lightning quick off the edge and as he continues to improve and build his game, he’s going to have a big impact on this defense.  Ware type influence?  Well, not yet anyway, but perhaps soon.

4th and One – September sucks! – The Trojans have to be thanking their lucky stars that the word “State” follows “Alabama” in the opening game of the year or else someone in the athletic department would have to have their dome examined.  Check the last four weeks in September for the Trojans.  At Florida State.  At Georgia Tech.  At Nebraska.  At UAB.  Four weeks.  Four road trips.  Ouch times four.  It’s one thing to take on the world, it’s quite another to do it all in a row, one week after the other and all on the road.  Frequent flyer miles, boys, sign up now.  Playing those four games back to back to back to back on the road, bro, that’s a last chapter quantum physics five hour exam blindfolded with a hangover.  Impossible.  Nearly impossible, we’ll give them a shade of hope.  But, in all seriousness, as much as this resembles someone, or something, with a death wish, if Troy comes out of this healthy and some offensive leaders emerge (namely Haugabrook), then the Trojans could make some noise this fall.  If not, “Death by September” might be the name of the 2006 Trojan season video.

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