In a game where Troy came in a 7.5-point favorite, the Trojans were dominated in all phases by Appalachian State in a 53-14 home loss Saturday afternoon.
Troy and App came in at a combined 2-10, each with a loss to an FCS team, making the game a must win for both teams. Things looked to be close early on before the Mountaineers took a clear upper hand late in the second quarter. It was App State's first win over an FBS program since, that's right, the 2007 victory over Michigan.
The two programs were each led by rookies quarterbacks. Troy's Brandon Silvers led his team to a deceptively easy touchdown on the opening drive and it looked like The Official Larry Blakeney Farewell Tour 2014 could be headed to 2-0.
Instead, App State's own freshman, Taylor Lamb, sliced and diced the Troy defense to score the next 24 points straight. Lamb is the son of former Furman and current Mercer head coach Bobby Lamb.
Troy's lone highlight outside of the opening drive was an incredible 99-yard kickoff return by Mr. Everything Chandler Worthy. Larry Blakeney said before the game that Worthy can do it all, and he proved it once again in making the score 24-14 during the second quarter.
Remember the good times:
But Lamb wouldn't be stopped, not throwing a single incompletion until midway through the second quarter. Only an App fumble by Montez McGuier at the goal line kept the Mountaineers from putting it away before halftime. Granted, the play still resulted in a safety against Troy.
Troy's season summed up in one play:
App picked up 273 yards in the first half. Lamb was 8-12 passing for 107 yards, good for 8.9 yards per attempt, and ran for 51 yards on just 5 carries before the break. Troy picked up just 140 yards in the first half. Silvers looked good passing, going 13 for 16. On the ground though, he had 7 "carries" for 0 yards, one of which resulted in a fumble App's defense returned for a touchdown. Second half stats? You don't want to see those.
Latrell Gibbs intercepted Silvers early in the second half and Marcus Cox ran for an App State touchdown on the very next play to make it 33-14. At that point, 12:41 of the third quarter, the rout was on. App and Troy pulled their starters early in the fourth quarter when the score reached 46-14 and App added a final touchdown to make it 53-14.
The Mountaineers doused coach Scott Satterfield in Gatorate before the final whistle.
It won't get any easier from here for Troy. The Trojans have a short week before playing at rival South Alabama Friday night. The four games left afterward are against Georgia Southern, Georgia State, Idaho and Louisiana Lafayette. At this point, best case scenario looks like a 3-9 season.
ESPN3: I don't know where they find announcers for ESPN3.com but I hope they aren't paying them. Watching Georgia Southern games this year I've heard the Eagles called "Georgia State" more times than I can remember, even during home games where the words "Georgia Southern" were spelled out in 4-foot-tall letters on the freaking 50 yard line.
Today, the announcers took us back in time. The word "state" hasn't been part of Troy University's name since 2005, yet the school was called "Troy State" over and over during the broadcast.
Otherwise, the announcers actually didn't do too bad, reeling off stats, the names of key players and the recent histories of both teams. Next time they're browsing through the media guide, let's hope they read the cover first.
Trivia Challenge: Speaking of the announcers, one of them was former Virginia head coach Al Groh, who most recently was fired from the defensive coordinator job at Georgia Tech.
Bama Blues: This game kicked off only a half hour before Alabama took on Texas A&M, which might have been the reason attendance was so low. At points it looked like there were more people on the field than in the stands. These team aren't exactly juggernauts this season, but come on. Where's the loyalty Troy fans?