Location: Veterans Memorial Stadium, Troy, AL
Kickoff: 2:30 PM Central Time, Saturday, September 29th
TV/Radio: Troy Sports Radio Network; WRNN 99.5 FM in Conway S.C
Live Stats: http://stats.statbroadcast.com
Odds: Troy -14 ; O/U 54
The Troy Trojans will host the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers this Saturday to decide who will remain at the top in the East Division of the Sun Belt Conference.
Both the Trojans and the Chants (as they like to be called) are boasting a three game winning streak after being over matched in their first games of the season. For Troy, it was a 56-20 loss to Boise State and Coastal lost 49-15 to South Carolina. Since then, Troy had an impressive wins against FAMU (59-7), then at Nebraska (24-19), and took care of business at ULM (35-27) last Saturday. Meanwhile, Coastal walloped UAB (47-24) and Campbell (58-21) and held on to win at Louisiana (30-28) last Saturday. Both teams can rack up some numbers on offense if given the chance.
The Chants have already won as many games as they did last year (3), and they don’t show any signs of slowing down. They are a well-coached, balanced team.
One hurdle that Coastal will have to overcome is the probable loss of their starting quarterback, Kilton Anderson. Anderson suffered a leg injury against Louisiana and had to be sidelined. Anderson could hurt defenses in the air or with his legs. He is the third leading rusher on the team, and, if not for some QB sacks, he would be the second best. He is listed as doubtful for this Saturday.
Bryce Carpenter, a freshman, stepped in after Anderson’s exit and kept the pace going by connecting on all five of his attempts for a total of 82 yards and a touchdown. If he starts Saturday against Troy, I don’t think there will be much of a drop off in QB performance. But coming in the game late when the Louisiana defense is tired is not the same as having to deal with a tough Trojan defense that wants to flex its muscle after a poor second half showing at ULM.
Hurricane Florence has forced Coastal to use high school facilities for practice and weight lifting. This might be viewed as a detriment, but in this case the Chanticleers have turned it into an exercise in overcoming adversity, and the players think the team is stronger because of it.
Troy returns home after two tough road trips. The only consistent thing you can say about the Trojans is their inconsistency. Against Nebraska, they played smart, created opportunities, and took advantage of those opportunities. In the first half against ULM, it looked like Troy was building on the Nebraska win, but then suddenly everything turned around, and they almost lost the game. This Saturday should show that they have solved that inconsistency problem.
Unless the odds-makers consider Coastal’s losing their starting quarterback a serious problem, I don’t see why Troy is a 14 point favorite. I think this game will be much closer than that, and it probably won’t be decided until late in the fourth quarter. Prediction: Troy 31; Coastal Carolina 24