Trojans blast Blazers 27-14
Published 12:10 am Sunday, September 20, 2009
The third time was the charm for the 2009 Troy Trojans, as it turns out.
After losing the first two games of the season on the road, the Trojans played host to in-state rival, University of Alabama-Birmingham, on Saturday and when it was all said and done, the Trojans were the last team standing.
Thanks to an explosion from what had been a dormant offense, the Trojans were able to get their first win of the season, defeating the Blazers 27-14.
Troy (1-2) out gained UAB (1-2), 551 to 285, with 413 of those yards coming from the arm of senior quarterback Levi Brown.
“Great win for us,” Troy head coach Larry Blakeney said.
“We struggled with our chemistry coming into the game but we had good practices all week long. The team was up beat and had a sense of urgency and I think that played a role in what happened [on Saturday],” the coach added.
That sense of urgency mentioned by coach was apparent from the start of the game, as the offense came out firing.
After two quarters, the Trojans had a 10-0 lead, and once the game crossed over into the second half, Troy took control of the game for good scoring two touchdowns in the third and adding a field goal in the fourth.
Brown finished with a career day, completing 24 of his 32 passes, and throwing for 413 yards and two touchdowns.
“This was a hard fought game by both teams,” Blakeney said.
“Really proud of my players, I thought Levi [Brown] controlled the game well – he took care of us all night.”
Chip Reeves led the way for the young Trojan receivers with five catches for 95 yards and a touchdown.
Tebiarus Gill and Zack Marcum each had four catches for 69 and 46 yards, respectively.
“I think we came into this game confidant, but not over confidant like we were in other games this season,” Brown said.
“I thought we executed well, and made some big plays when we had to.”
While the passing game was flourishing against the Blazer secondary, the Trojan running attack still had some problems getting positive yardage.
Troy rushed for 138 yards and a touchdown on 32 carries with DuJuan Harris carrying the majority of the load, rushing for 61 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries.
“The running game is still iffy, we need to do a better job of holding on to the football – basic fundamental football,” Blakeney said. “We will definitely be working on those things.”
On the other side of the ball, the defense did its part to hold Blazer quarterback Joe Webb and his offense in check.
Webb finished the day with 114 passing yards and touchdown while rushing for 76 yards.
“[Joe] Webb is one heck of a football player. I was scared to death of him all throughout the week.
“I thought our defense worked hard and long to establish a plan against him and they did a great job,” Blakeney said.
Saturday’s game marked the return of a familiar face on defense for the Trojans as well – linebacker Bear Woods.
In his first game off an NCAA red shirt violation, Woods finished with six tackles.
“I made some plays, and missed some plays,” Woods said after the game. “I would give my overall performance a C+ or a B-.”
“I can’t explain the feeling of being out on the field again,” he said. “It felt so good.”
Blakeney said earlier in the week that this was crucial game for his club and echoed those statements again after the game.
“Getting a win heading into conference place is big,” Blakeney said.
“Getting a win against an in-state rival is really big – this is something that we always strive to do when we get an opportunity like this.
“[UAB] has played us pretty good the best couple of times, so it was nice to finally get a win against them,” he added.
This was the seventh time the two schools have played each other and Troy now has a 4-3 advantage on the Blazers.
The win also snapped a two game losing streak to UAB, who had won in 2005 and 2006.
Click here for pictures from the game.