It was a long week of practice for the Troy Trojans after they laid an egg in their huge non-conference opener against Boise State. Neal Brown was disappointed with his team’s effort last week and vowed to get it fixed.
The Trojans responded in a big way.
Troy had 605 yards of total offense while holding Alabama State to 165. Brandon Silvers returned to form as he posted a gaudy stat line that unfortunately did not include any scores. Silver completed 32-of-40 passes for 345 yards on the night. Outside of the pick-six given up in the second quarter, the senior from Orange Beach was absolutely locked in.
The Trojans had 12 different receivers record receptions after a brutal performance last week. Damion Willis, the junior college transfer, was the top performer of the night as he pulled in seven receptions for 93 yards. Deondre Douglas, Tevaris McCormick, and Emanuel Thompson were the top three receivers last year and they chipped in to collect 10 grabs for 113 yards. Jordan Chunn also collect seven receptions out of the backfield.
But the Trojans got the ground game going at Veterans Memorial Stadium too. For the night, Troy posted 251 yards on 35 carries and had five rushing touchdowns on the night. Chunn led the way early as he had 61 yards on 13 carries and four of the carries ended up in the endzone. But Memphis transfer was the star of the night after flashing last week. Henderson had 107 yards on eight carries with two touchdowns. For the season, Henderson is averaging 12 yards per carry and will provide an excellent big play burst to that backfield.
But the story of the game could be another outstanding performance by the Troy defense. The Trojans held their FCS competition out of the endzone as the Hornets could only collect 80 yards passing and 85 yards rushing. Alabama State averaged 2.9 yards per pass attempt and 2.7 yards per rush attempt. That’s a damn good day at the office for Vic Koenning’s unit. Troy was unable to force any turnovers
Even without the turnovers, Troy was able to produce some havoc as they posted nine tackles for loss, three sacks, and two pass break-ups. Sam Lebbie led the team in tackles, but it was a very balanced group effort from that salty defense. This could be one of the better defenses in the Group of Five.
It was a very solid bounce back performance for Troy after the letdown last week. The offense looked very strong and achieved the balance that Brown talks about so much. The defense dominated for sixty minutes as the Trojans did exactly what you’re suppose to do against an FCS opponent in your home opener. Next week Troy heads to Las Cruces to take on New Mexico State under the lights and that may be the hottest team in the Sun Belt at the moment.