Team preview: Troy State

Blue Ribbon Illustrated previews the 2004-05 college football season, exclusively on Insider.

Originally Published: July 28, 2004
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Through its brief existence in Division I-A football, Troy University built the way up-and-coming programs always have built. The Trojans put together ridiculously murderous schedules, ones filled with dollar-plentiful road games so the athletic department could pay its bills. They soldiered on as a national independent, an endeavor that, except for Notre Dame or a service academy, is akin to a funeral procession.

Larry Blakeney's program was battered and bruised but not beaten up. It survived Nebraska and Miami, Mississippi State and Kansas State, Missouri, Virginia and Minnesota. Troy emerged with a handful of starters sidelined by injury by season's end in 2003, finishing 6-6 after consecutive victories at Utah State and over Louisiana-Monroe.

And then the light began shining.