Saturday's win means Troy not only escaped the Sun Belt cellar, its coach passed a major milestone in an easy victory over Georgia State at Veterans Memorial Stadium.
Larry Blakeney picked up his 177th win, passing Auburn's Ralph "Shug" Jordan, the man he played for during his college days, in all-time wins. The victory places Blakeney third all time in the state of Alabama behind Paul "Bear" Bryant (223 wins at Alabama from 1958-82) and Tuskegee's Cleve Abbott (203 wins from 1923-54).
Jordan won 176 games at Auburn from 1951-75. Blakeney has been Troy's head coach since 1991.
In a matchup of the Sun Belt's two worst defenses, both teams scored on their opening drive. Troy (2-8, 2-4 Sun Belt) scored on a Josh Harrison run, while Georgia State (1-9, 0-7) evened it up on a pass from quarterback Nick Arbuckle to Todd Boyd.
Troy quarterback Brandon Silvers had been fighting a back injury over the last several weeks but looked great against the Panthers. After a Brandon Burks touchdown run made it 14-7, Silvers shot a perfect pass to Bryan Holmes to make it 21-7, which remained the score at halftime.
Arbuckle continued his season-long Brett Favre ways, throwing interceptions on two straight second quarter possessions. Georgia State lost a fumble early in the third quarter.
Also during the third quarter, Silvers did a back flip into the end zone to cap a 30-yard run that made it 28-7. One of the announcers summed it up perfectly in saying, "His back ain't hurtin' too bad!"
An Arbuckle pass made it 28-14, but Troy scored a field goal and two more of its own touchdowns to put the game in hand for the Trojans. One more Arbuckle touchdown pass in garbage time left the final score at 45-21.
These teams came into the game "ranked" No. 2 and 3 in the ESPN Bottom 10. The victory for Troy means they escape the doldrums of last place in the Sun Belt. With Idaho coming up next week they stand a good chance at picking up another win before closing out the season against Louisiana-Lafayette.
Georgia State stares down a 1-11 season as its only remaining games come against Clemson and Texas State.