Dig Baton Rouge

The Sports Troll: Beware the boys from Troy

The coldest I’ve ever been in my life was on Nov. 15, 2008 while standing alone in the student section in Tiger Stadium.

The weather was warm that day.

But at night, the temperatures plummeted to about 45 degrees and a wind was whipping.

Most nights, it wouldn’t have mattered. Even without proper clothing, I’d have been jumping up and down and causing enough of a ruckus to keep my 21-year-old body warm.

But on this night, LSU was playing Troy and literally nothing was going right.

The Trojans were a huge underdog in the game, but they played like the favorites throughout the game.

They led 14-3 at the end of the first quarter, then 24-3 at halftime. In the third quarter, they struck first and scored again, taking a 31-3 lead over LSU with 11:13 to go in the quarter.

I was cold and miserable and I did something I never have done at any other time in my life.

I carried my frozen, angry carcass out of the stadium and walked back to my Tiger Land apartment.

Of course, as fate would have it, LSU would make me pay for my disloyalty. They rallied and ended the game with 37-straight points in the final 16 minutes of the game, erasing a 28-point deficit and scoring a 40-31 victory – one of the single best comebacks of the Les Miles era.

OK, now let’s flash forward to the present – Troy’s return trip to Tiger Stadium.

There are a lot of similarities between this LSU team and the one which Troy faced in 2008.

Both are young and both are in transition.

In 2008, LSU was a year removed from a National Championship. The team had a new defensive coordinator and several new starters all over the field.

It showed. LSU struggled and had multiple losses.

This year, it’s looking a lot like the same things are in play.

The Tigers have a first-year head coach and there are freshmen and sophomores all over the field. LSU is 3-1, yes. But the team has looked awfully mediocre while struggling to that record.

All the while, Troy has continued to churn.

They’re not a national power by any means. But they are a solid mid-major that can beat teams twice their size on any given night if things go their way.

No, I am not saying LSU will be beaten on Saturday.

The Tigers are a 20-point favorite, which means they have a much better team than their opponents.

But I am saying to beware the boys of Troy.

They’ve proven once they can challenge a vulnerable LSU team in Tiger Stadium.

If they did it once, they can do it again.

Prepare for a four-quarter dogfight on Saturday.

History shows those boys aren’t coming to Baton Rouge to gently fall on their swords.

Image: Sean Gasser

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