Guarantee Warrants Attention

COACH CLEARS AIR ABOUT PREDICTION

By: Robbie Neiswanger
Published: Tuesday, November 10, 2009

— Troy coach Larry Blakeney wanted to make one thing clear Monday.

In his 19 years as the Trojans’ coach, he has never been interested in college football predictions. So Blakeney said there’s no way he told a radio show host over the summer that his team would beat the Razorbacks this season.

“I have never guaranteed a win over anybody,” Blakeney said. “Please put it out there that I have never made a stupid comment like that.”

Blakeney’s boast - spoken or not - has added some spice to Arkansas’ final nonconference game against Troy (7-2) in Reynolds Razorback Stadium. The Razorbacks (5-4) are one win shy of becoming bowl eligible this season and are looking to reach the six-win mark against his Trojans.

The abbreviated version of Blakeney’s alleged o◊season comment goes like this: He told Robert Booth, an Alabama radio show host, off the air that his team would beat Arkansas. The radio show host later relayed the message to renowned football guru Phil Steele. Then, Steele wrote about the conversation between Blakeney and the radio show host on his popular blog.

Blakeney, however, said it’s not true.

“I don’t make those kind of statements,” Blakeney said. “I don’t do that kind of stuff for my team, No. 1. I’ve never been on anybody’s bulletin board for that kind of rank comment.

“I’m not trying to deny anything that I did. I am just telling you the straight truth. I never made that kind of statement.”

Either way, the subject could serve as a nice piece of bulletin board material for Arkansas, which has won two straight. Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino was told about Blakeney’s comments - and the coach’s denial - Monday afternoon.

In reality, the Hogs don’t need the extra motivation to prepare for the Trojans.

Petrino said the Razorbacks understand the challenge Troy presents.

Sports, Pages 9 on 11/10/2009

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