Troy was able to use a huge effort from the second quarter until the end of the game to score 35 unanswered points and come away with a road win over Georgia Southern by a 14-point final margin.
The Trojans received a strong performance from quarterback Sawyer Smith in the victory, as Smith tossed a touchdown along with 287 yards and suffered just seven incompletions (21-28 passing) in the win.
As key as the quarterback position was for Troy in the win, its defense was absolutely fantastic, giving up just 101 rushing yards to Georgia Southern and being able to contain the large chunk plays the Eagles typically rip off as the game moves along.
This game started off on a high-note for the Eagles, as signal-caller Shai Werts connected on several big passing plays and tossed a pair of first-quarter touchdowns to help give GS a quick 14-3 advantage after one quarter.
From that point on, the game was all Troy, as running back B.J. Smith rushed for two touchdowns to help key a big 35-14 lead over the Eagles with 11 minutes left in regulation.
By the time Georgia Southern had gotten any momentum going offensively, it was far too late, and an 18-yard touchdown run by Werts didn’t move the needle at all as Troy extended its lead Sun Belt East with a conference-deciding meeting on the docket against Appalachian State in two weeks.
One final note from this game: Neal Brown and his coaching staff ran circles around Southern’s coaching group, as the Trojans were doing on the field to its opponent from the second quarter on. The Eagles should pursue all options regarding a new offensive coordinator this offseason after averaging just 23 points per game the last two weeks following a 7-1 start.
For Southern, its season is essentially over. The Eagles ate the trash from the second quarter until it was totally over, and it has been a wholly disappointing two weeks with losses to ULM and now Troy after defeating a No. 25 ranked App team a few games ago.
GS will face off with Coastal Carolina and Georgia State over the next two contests, but either way it won’t change the trajectory of this season even with a future bowl game probably coming.
There’s even a chance Georgia Southern loses out and finishes 7-5. We’ve seen how this team performs when it is disinterested.
Maybe in 2019, Chad Lunsford and company will remember that a college football season is longer than just 8 games.