Start Time: Saturday, September 9th, 6:00 PM EST
Announcers: Tiffany Greene (play-by-play) and Rene Nadeau (analyst)
Location: Veterans Memorial Stadium
Series: Troy leads 13-2
Troy is coming off a brutal performance as their offense and special teams both laid eggs in the road loss to Boise State. The defense was outstanding, but it’s safe to assume it was a rough week of practice for the offense after the worst performance of the Neal Brown era. Troy will be playing their first home game of the season at The Vet tomorrow and you have to like their chances to get cookin’ again.
You could make the argument that last week was the worst game in the career of Brandon Silvers as the senior quarterback barely completed 50% of his passes and only averaged 4.2 yards per attempt. That is just flat out ugly. But the problems did not stop there as the Trojans struggled to establish a rushing attack as well. Eight different players posted carries for Troy and they combined to put up 76 rushing yards. Number one back Jordan Chunn only averaged 3.7 yards per carry after accumulating 41 yards on 11 carries. I’d look for Brown and his staff to attempt to get Memphis transfer Jamarius Henderson more touches this week. Henderson showed some burst last week when he busted off a 26-yard run against Boise State.
It was a very impressive performance by the Troy defense last week and they kept the Trojans in the game right up until the end. Sophomore defensive back Melvin Tyus led the way with seven tackles as he played his best game as a college player. Troy was able to be very disruptive at the line of scrimmage against a good Boise State offense as the Trojans posted 12 tackles for loss. The Trojans were also able to create a consistent pass rush as they recorded four sacks. It was a great performance by Vic Koenning’s unit and this group will be a strength all season.
Alabama State Outlook
Brian Jenkins enters his third season as the head coach in Montgomery and the Hornets are coming off a 3-8 campaign in 2016. The Hornets dropped their opener to Tuskegee and they’ll be looking for their first ever win in Troy.
Alabama State outgained Tuskegee last weekend in their home opener but had some redzone struggles as they only posted one score in four opportunities. The Hornets missed two field goals from extra point range and this is an issue that must be addressed. At quarterback, Alabama State started redshirt freshman Kobie Jones and he performed okay in his first ever collegiate contest. Jones went 20-for-38 through the air for 173 yards and one touchdown. Jones also carried the rock 11 times so he is a legit dual-threat. Running backs Darrel King and Alex Anderson will split carries in the backfield. It appears junior Jamir Hannah will be the top receiving target for the Hornets.
The defense had a very impressive season debut last week as they held their opponent to only 192 total yards. Safety Treyon Garnett and linebacker Darron Johnson led the team in tackles last week with six apiece. The Hornets were able to cause some disruption as they posted five tackles for loss and two sacks. However, the unit was unable to force any turnovers.
It’s an obvious bounce back spot for Troy after the letdown last week. The Trojans are ticked off and they’ll be facing a team where that is inferior talent wise in nearly every position. You know this offense is going to be hungry to put up some points, but I’ll be interested to see how the special teams units bounce back after allowing some huge returns to Boise State.
The Trojans will come up out like gangbusters and get to a big early lead against Alabama State. The young quarterback will be very confused by Koenning’s complicated scheme and it’ll be big day from the Trojan offense. Brandon Silvers posts over 300 yards passing and the ground attacks goes for over 200. The Trojans approach 600 yards total offense against the FCS competition.
Prediction: Troy 45, Alabama State 12