Following a statement upset last week in Nebraska, many were concerned the Trojans could be in for a let down game again Monroe. Troy initially started off this concern with a 3-and-out and conceding a 13-play drive, punctuated by a touchdown run from RB Derrick Gore. Visions of last year’s South Alabama loss following the LSU game crept in to people’s minds, and then-
Troy went on to score touchdowns on their next five possessions, while Monroe punted the ball for the rest of the half. Troy finished the first half up 35-7, accumulating 393 yards to the Warhawks 101 yards - 73 of which came on the first drive. Troy was in the driver’s seat and this game appeared to be out of hand, but there’s a reason they play four quarters.
ULM opened with a solid drive to open the half, however it stalled out as an incomplete pass by Caleb Evans, forcing a turnover on downs. The Trojans were unable to do anything on their next possession, punting back to the Warhawks who would drive 81 yards for a Kayin White TD run to make it a more respectable 35-14. Troy was once again unable to move the ball before punting back to ULM, who again drove the length of the field to score a touchdown to WR Sloan Spiller.
After trading punts at the beginning of the 4th, ULM was able to get a quick strike touchdown on a 23-yard Caleb Evans TD pass to make it 35-27 after a missed extra point with just over 6 minutes to go. The Trojan offense woke up with Kaleb Barker leading the offense to field goal position before Tyler Sumpter missed a FG that would have iced the game.
With renewed life to tie the game up with just over 2 minutes left in the game, Caleb Evans worked the sidelines to get the Warhawks in great position. An amazing throw and catch to Xavier Brown brought the Warhawks to the doorstep of getting a TD before a lofted fade had too much air on it, and Trojan CB Marcus Jones pulled it down in the back of the end zone to seal the win, 35-27.
This game was very much a tale of two halves. Troy was outscored 20-7 and out-gained 342-92, almost the polar opposite of the first half.
The receiving trio of Sidney Davis, Deondre Douglas, and Damion Willis continue to improve as the season wears on as the three combined for 16 catches, 211 yards, and 3 touchdowns.
Player Of the Game
In the first half, Kaleb Barker was incredible. In the 2nd, he was handcuffed with conservative play calling and a desperate defense. He finished the game with 23/38 for 273 yards and 50 rushing yards to go with 4 total touchdowns. Caleb Evans deserves a special shoutout for with 391 total yards and 2 passing touchdowns in the losing effort, carrying the team down the stretch to almost pull of the comeback.
Troy (3-1, 1-0 SBC) will host a Coastal Carolina team (3-1, 1-0 SBC) that just snuck by Louisiana.
UL Monroe (2-2, 01 SBC) will look to rebound on the road against a struggling GA State ( 1-3, 0-0 SBC) squad in Atlanta.