Chip Reeves makes a catch against Arkansas State. (Photo/Tyler Myers)

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Missed opportunities, penalties cost Troy in loss to Arkansas State

Published 8:29pm Saturday, November 17, 2012

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Troy’s bowl future will rest on the outcome of next week’s rivalry game with Middle Tennessee State. The Trojans fell to Arkansas State, 41-34, in a physical and emotional game for 25 seniors.

The Trojans (5-6, 3-4 Sun Belt) fought the Sun Belt Conference’s best team and themselves as Arkansas State racked up 595 yards while Troy was charged with 96 yards in penalties.

Coming out of halftime tied 20-20, the Red Wolves (8-3, 6-1) built an 11-point lead heading into the final quarter. Brynden Trawick intercepted a Ryan Aplin pass and returned it 70 yards for a touchdown to put Troy within striking distance, 34-31, with 10:23 to play.

After Arkansas State added a late touchdown, Troy could only manage to produce a field goal before the Red Wolves ran out the clock.

“We’re certainly disappointed to lose a game we felt like we had a chance to win,” Troy head coach Larry Blakeney said. “We didn’t come in here to do anything but win and we weren’t able to. We’ve got one more shot to get to 6-6 and maybe go somewhere.”

Troy’s offense fare poorly in the game either. Quarterback Corey Robinson completed 26 of 35 passes for 417 yards and a touchdown. It was hard to match the performance of Arkansas State’s senior gunslinger, however. Ryan Aplin lit up the field with four touchdown passes and 454 yards of total offense, both career highs.

The Trojans missed on several scoring opportunities. Troy entered the redzone six times, but scored just one touchdown. Will Scott booted through four field goals to salvage the scoring chances.

Troy receiver Chip Reeves finished with 142 yards receiving, including a 51-yard, first quarter touchdown from Robinson. Reeves’ output made him the fifth receiver in school history to go over 1,00 yards in a single season.

Saturday marked the fourth time this season that Troy’s offense has eclipsed the 500-yard plateau and lost. The Trojans rolled up 518 yards against Arkansas State.

“That doesn’t mean anything. Whatever, if it’s 800,” Robinson said. “We’ve go to get to six (wins) next week. Middle Tennessee is a buyout game. If we win, we’re in. If we don’t we’re going home for Christmas.”

Four teams are already bowl eligible in the Sun Belt Conference, with Troy looking to become the fifth.

Troy and Middle Tennessee State are set for a 2:32 p.m. kickoff.

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