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Thursday Night Throwdown: Troy vs. Arkansas State

Can No. 25 Troy prevail over Arkansas State?

Quarterback Brandon Silvers handing the ball off to running back Jordan Chunn against Georgia State.
Ryan Wilkes

Where: Veterans Memorial Stadium, Troy, Alabama

When: Thursday, November 17 at 8:30 CT

Television: ESPNU

Radio: 94.7 FM (WTBF Troy)

Spread: -9 Troy

This Thursday night two juggernauts of the Sun Belt Conference square off to play one another. The Arkansas State Red Wolves travel to Alabama to take on the Troy Trojans. Both teams are undefeated and Troy is feeling the pressure again as they strive for a perfect in-conference season. Troy is 8-1 overall 5-0 in the Sun Belt and Arkansas State is 5-4 overall and 5-0 in conference play.

After taking down the Mountaineers of Appalachian State, the Trojans became the first Sun Belt team to be ranked in the AP Poll, sitting at number 25.

Troy’s Strengths

The offense for the Trojans has been potent the past couple of weeks. Troy’s offensive line is a key strength that has helped the Trojans move the ball offensively. This o-line has only given up three sacks all year and Antonio Garcia seems like an immovable object.

Brandon Silvers had a good game last week coming away with 229 passing yards going 21 for 35 with one touchdown. Another Trojan that had a big game was Jordan Chunn, he carried the ball 31 times for 156 yards with two touchdowns.

Troy’s defense is tied for third with the most interceptions in the FBS. The Trojans’ defensive back, Blace Brown, is tied for second with most picks with six. This defense may give up yards through the air, but they make up for it by forcing turnovers.

Arkansas State is on a roll after a 0-4 setback. The Red Wolves are currently on a five game winning streak in conference play. Things began shifting after Coach Anderson switch quarterbacks from Pittsburgh transfer, Chad Voytik to sophomore Justice Hansen. Following the change the offense seemed more aggressive and the defense began pushing opponents sideline to sideline.

ASU Strengths

The quarterback change has made this Red Wolves offense a force to be reckoned with. Hansen has gone 124 for 212 passing for a total of 1793 yards with 12 touchdowns and seven interceptions.

Don't sleep on Texas transfer receiver, Kendall Sanders. Sanders had a breakout game last week with 101 yards receiving. Coach Anderson will find ways to get him the ball. Look for Sanders in motion and touch the ball on jet sweeps. Defensive ends Ja'von Rolland Jones and Chris Odom will try to put pressure on Silvers.

What Wins the Game

Downside to this Red Wolf team is ASU's offensive line. This o-line has struggled at times to protect the quarterback and opening lanes for a consistent running game. If Troy can get constant pressure on Arkansas State, it might be a long night for the Red Wolves.

Last week Troy broke Appalachian State’s quarterback with constant pressure and forced an interception. The match-up between the Trojan defense and Red Wolf offense will be something to watch for and will potentially decide who wins this game.