TROY, Ala (WDHN) — The first game of the Troy football season has finally arrived after changing the first matchup twice. Now the Trojans are set to take on old Sun Belt foe, Middle Tennessee, this Saturday in part of one of the Battle for the Palladium.
“We’re excited that it’s finally game week and it seems like we’ve been waiting on this week to arrive for a long time. Our players had a lot of energy in our first practice Sunday, and they’re looking forward to Saturday afternoon. We’ve got a lot of work to do between now and then but it’s exciting and surreal to finally be in game week,” said head coach Chip Lindsey in Tuesday’s opening statement of the team’s weekly press conference.
Saturday is a big day for Sophomore Gunnar Watson who will be making his first career start. This gives him an opportunity to solidify himself as the guy moving forward.
“I mean I am ready to go, we have been waiting for a while now. Everybody is ready and we are excited about it,” Watson said.
Middle Tennessee got their first taste of the 2020 season when the Blue Raiders took a trip to West Point and lost to Army 42-0. With that, Troy Defensive Coordinator, Brandon Hall has had the opportunity to see the MTSU offense in action.
“I think the biggest thing is that you get an opportunity to get a look at who their personnel is, anytime you are going into that first game, they have guys that have graduated or moved around,” Hall said. “You are just looking for similarities of what they may have done last year and looking at the different wrinkles they may have added to that from last year.”
Redshirt Senior, B.J. Smith will have fully achieve his comeback when he hits the field Saturday. One year and a day ago, Smith suffered a leg injury during the second game of the season against Southern Miss which forced him to miss the rest of the season. After Redshirting, Smith is now fully ready to go.
“I went about a year of just waking up every morning wondering of when I would be one hundred percent, when my body would feel the same. I can truly say that that day has come,” Smith said.
Middle Tennessee currently owns the bragging rights and the palladium trophy after beating Troy 24-21 in 2014.
Saturday’s game in Murfreesboro will have a 3 p.m. kickoff and will air on ESPN2.