WKU football blog: What they’re saying …

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Special thanks to Drew Champlin of the Dothan Eagle for some added insight on Troy. Check out Drew’s blog here.

BGDN: How is the team dealing with the quarterback situation? Down to an original third-stringer, how has the team rallied around him?

DC: I wouldn’t say Levi Brown was the third-stringer. There was a battle for No. 2 between him and Tanner Jones (out for the year with knee injury) and Jones came in after Jamie Hampton got hurt vs. FAU because he had more experience at Troy. Brown’s a guy that sits in the pocket and looks for receivers and is more polished of a passer than Hampton (but not the run threat). The offense hasn’t missed a beat with Levi at the helm.

BGDN: Troy lost quite a few big players from a season ago, how has the group been able to overcome those losses and still put together a very competitive season.

DC: There was still a good nucleus of talent coming back, especially on defense and on the offensive line. They lost some star power, but had enough coming back to make it work as well as it has.

BGDN: What’s the attitude like right now after a tough loss last week to Louisiana-Monroe?

DC: They know they can still win the league and go to New Orleans with wins over UL-Lafayette and Arkansas State later this year, but what they wanted to do is win it outright. If they win over ULL and ASU, it will likely end up being a tie (6-1) with ULL. Players just say they were trying to put it behind them, but admitted it was a heartbreaker since they led most of the game.

BGDN: This game last season was a lot closer than most people thought, is there any motivation on the Troy side to make sure that this one isn’t?

DC: Probably. They need a game where they put it all together. The 45-17 win over North Texas wasn’t as pretty as the score indicated. Last year, WKU caught Troy at a good time, played them tough, didn’t let the Trojans pull away after an early lead, and dang near won the game.

BGDN: What’s the status of Jerrel Jernigan for Saturday? As well as the other guys banged up on the Troy sidelines?

DC: Jernigan had his knee scoped last week and I doubt he plays this weekend, but I’d know more on that at the end of the week. Center Danny Franks returned, but played with a noticable limp (ankle). Linebacker Bear Woods (foot) has missed the last two weeks as his injury won’t seem to heal. Guys already lost for the year with knee injuries are quarterbacks Jamie Hampton and Tanner Jones and defensive end Kenny Mainor. There might be other guys playing through nicks and bruises, but Jernigan and Woods are some of the biggest keys to their units and Jernigan’s the best player on this team.

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