- Graham Watson, College Football
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Troy and Arkansas have never had a real rivalry.
The teams have only played twice and Arkansas has won both contests by an average of 21.5 points per game.
But during the Sun Belt coaches teleconference this week, Troy coach Larry Blakeney spent a good chunk of his 10-minute session denying comments that he said his team could beat the Razorbacks.
“Somebody said that I said something about us beating Arkansas, which I have never said that to anyone,” Blakeney said. “We’re going to do our best to get a plan to go to Arkansas and play as well as we can. We’ve been close on some of those occasions, but it’s still an SEC team and Arkansas is certainly, as good as they’re playing now, they’ll be a difficult task for us or anybody else. But I’ve never made any kind of stupid comment like that in my life. I’m not a prediction guy.”
The comment was posted on Phil Steele’s blog from Aug. 14 among several other tidbits about various schools around the country.
I did a show on Monday in Alabama with Robert Booth. Robert said that last week he met with coach Larry Blakeney of Troy and that coach Blakeney told him they WILL beat Arkansas this year! He also said that in all the years that he had talked with the coach over the summer, it was the first time he had told him of a projected upset like that.
Blakeney was irate that his name was attached to the rumor and said that he’d never do anything to jeopardize his team’s chances to win. Basically, it’s a he-said-he said situation, but it’s made Saturday’s nonconference game a little more intriguing.
Troy has defeated just one SEC team since joining the FBS -- Mississippi State in 2001, and has just three wins over automatic qualifying schools since that time.
“I don’t make those kinds of statements and I don’t do that kind of stuff for my team,” Blakeney said. “I’ve never been on anybody’s bulletin board with that kind of rank comment. I’m not trying to deny anything that I did. I’m just trying to tell you the straight truth. I’ve never made that kind of statement.”
2dSharon Katz, ESPN Stats & Information
3dTom VanHaaren and Erik McKinney