When the season really heats up we'll resume our weekly list of Reasons to Hate the upcoming opponent, but since the first few games don't inspire a lot of anger we decided to get back in touch with an old friend from the early days of the Petrino Era.
Biggs Barker is an undisputed master of all forms of online snooping, surveillance and dirty tricks, and also happens to be a lifelong fan of the Hogs. Although these days he mostly stays busy laundering money for the Russian mafia, he was gracious enough to lend his skills to dig up some dirt on the Troy Trojans. Here is his unedited report:
Team: Troy University
Location: Troy, Alabama
Conference: Sun Belt
2010 Record: 8-5
2011 Record: 0-1 (43-19 loss to Clemson)
History With the Hogs: This will be the third meeting between the Hogs and Trojans in the past few years. In 2007, Darren McFadden and Felix Jones carried the Hogs to a semi-impressive 46-26 victory (ultra die-hard fans of this site may recall that it was the first game we ever covered), and 2009 Ryan Mallett threw for approximately 800 yards in a 56-26 rout.
The Head Man: Troy coach Larry Blakeney is both less pugilistic and more successful than the subject of last week's opponent profile, having compiled a 161-83-1 record in his 21 seasons with the Trojans. They've also been to bowl games five of the past seven seasons.
Strengths: Blakeney's teams usually have some offensive playmakers, and this year's group is no exception. Sophomore QB Corey Robinson leads a spread attack that rang up 423 yards (but only 19 points) against Clemson. Make no mistake - the Trojans have talent, and are a significantly better team than the Razorbacks' first two opponents this year.
Weaknesses: The Trojans started strong against Clemson, leading 16-13 at halftime, but ran out of gas in the 2nd half as the Tigers pulled away for the rout. It seems likely that the Hogs' superior depth and seemingly endless supply of playmakers will have a similar effect. Furthermore, Troy gave up a kickoff return for a TD in their previous game...a fact that has no doubt been happily noted by Joe Adams and Marquel Wade.
Son of Super Sid: One of Troy's top threats is preseason All-Sun Belt receiver Brett Moncrief. If that last name sounds familiar it's because his dad used to play a little basketball in Fayetteville back in the 70s.
True Story: Troy University was the subject of a 2004 movie starring Brad Pitt, Eric Bana and Orlando Bloom. Pitt's portrayal of Larry Blakeney has been hailed as one of the finest of his career, and to this day remains an unfortunate example of a notorious Oscar snub.
Final Thought: Although the Hogs likely will keep their game plan fairly vanilla in anticipation of pulling out all the stops against Alabama, they can't afford to overlook the Trojans too much. It's worth remembering that in 2008 Troy jumped out to a 31-3 third quarter lead against LSU before succumbing to an epic comeback.