The Broncos kicked off to start the game and wasted no time taking control. Troy’s first drive only yielded five yards, so Tyler Sumpter was called for the game’s first punt. Brett Rypien grabbed the reins for the Broncos and, after a short drive, threw his first touchdown pass for 20 yards Sean Modster.
Troy evened the score midway in the first quarter. Boise fumbled a Troy punt at midfield and Troy recovered. Five plays later Jabir Daughtry-Frye broke through the Broncos’ defense for 23 yards and Troy’s only touchdown in the first half.
Things got ugly for Troy in the second quarter. Troy’s receivers were closely covered while Boise’s were hardly covered at all. The Broncos went on to score four more touchdowns, mainly on Rypien’s arm. Rypien was relaxed and confident in the pocket as he picked the Trojans secondary apart, completing 16 of 19 attempts for 276 yards and three more TDs.
The Broncos were comfortably ahead 35-7 at the break, as Rypien had more touchdown passes than incomplete passes.
Troy played better coming out of the locker room to start the second half. They stopped the Broncos’ drive and were starting to move the ball better. But the Broncos were able to pop the ball out of B.J. Smith’s hands and Tyler Horton grabbed it out of the air and ran it back 66 yards for Boise’s sixth touchdown to widen the score to 42-7.
Troy was playing better in the second half, but turnovers continued to plague them. It looked like Troy was going to make the score respectable as B.J. Smith scored from a yard out to cap Troy’s longest drive of the night for 77 yards. But when Troy’s quarterback, Caleb Barker, was sacked at his own 11-yard line, the ball popped up and Horton was there again to grab it for another Bronco defensive touchdown. Troy fumbled on their last drive to effectively end the game.
The Broncos’ 35 unanswered points in the second and third quarters was an embarrassment to the Trojans whose defense was thought to be better than last year. Troy’s four turnovers didn’t help, but three of them occurred in the second half after the game had been decided.
Troy’s new quarterback, Kaleb Barker, did well for his first outing against a very good Broncos’ defensive secondary. He completed 20 of 29 attempts for 211 yards and one touchdown for 33 yards to Deondre Douglas.
But the night belonged to Boise’s Brett Rypien. Rypien went 20 for 28 for 305 yards and four TDs to Modster (20 and 54 yards), CT Thomas (53 yards), and Akilian BUTLER (3 yards).
Troy has a starting point to get better. This team is better than the score indicates, and they still have a good chance of having a very successful season. They’ll need to fix some things, but they have the personnel to compete for another Sun Belt title.
Boise is the real deal. Troy head coach Neal Brown, in the post-game interview, compared them to Clemson when they won the national championship. The Broncos came into Troy and executed their game plan almost to perfection. I’m sure they’ll be in the mix for the best of the Group 5 teams to play in a New Year’s Day Bowl.