Saturday night, the Troy Trojans went on the road to Appalachian State to take on the Mountaineers. Troy gave App State their best shot, losing in crushing fashion as a fake field goal on fourth-and-one in triple overtime came up short and the home team kicked a field goal to send Troy home with a loss.
I won't get into all the details, but the Troy Trojans played as well as they have all year long. We now have reason to be hopeful for this team going forward.
Head coach Neal Brown's energy and passion seems to finally be wearing off on his team, and it is beginning to show up on the scoreboard. In Troy's two games since losing at home to the Idaho Vandals, the Trojan offense has put up 93 points. In their previous six games before that, the offense only scored a combined 119 points.
On the other side of the ball, over the last two games, Troy has allowed 51 combined points. In the previous six games, the Trojans were giving up an average of 30 points a game.
Part of it is the fact that Troy is now playing conference opponents, but the numbers are just insane. Cleary the utterly embarrassing home loss to Idaho has lit a fire under the Trojans, and the team has gotten back on track by playing their best football of the season.
And as much as I have changed my opinion regarding Troy's sophomore quarterback Brandon Silvers, I am officially on the bandwagon. Silvers is the key to Troy's future, and he is already living up to his potential. In Saturday's game, he threw for 265 yards, a touchdown, and two interceptions.
While those numbers do not look spectacular, his play is much improved, and he fits perfectly in Neal Brown's system. Brown runs an air raid style offense, and Silvers is an excellent playmaker when throwing the ball downfield. Earlier in the year Silvers turned the ball over a lot, and that raised a lot of red flags for many Troy fans, myself included. But it now appears that the young quarterback's turnover woes were a result of a system that requires him to make plays, and he is finally settling into his role.
With a starting quarterback only in his second year finding his rhythm, the near future for the Troy offense is very bright. The Trojans have excellent playmakers on the outside, and a successful air raid offense helps Troy tremendously, should they decide to run the ball.
The Trojan defense is also beginning to find its groove and appears to be playing with its head on straight for the first time this season. As I previously mentioned, the fiery personality of their head coach is greatly impacting the team, and the defense is playing with a ferociousness we have not seen in awhile.
Have faith Troy fans. While things look bad sitting at 2-6, the future is bright. With Neal Brown in charge, the rebuild is in capable hands.