Turnovers prove costly in Troy’s loss to Mississippi State

Published 10:36 pm Saturday, September 15, 2012

Troy’s Eric Thomas (3) runs the ball against Mississippi State. (Photo/Kevin Glackmeyer)

For the second consecutive week, turnovers cost Troy (1-2) as Mississippi State defeated the Trojans 30-24 in front of a record crowd of 29,013 at Veterans Memorial Stadium Saturday.

Mississippi State (3-0), the first SEC opponent to ever visit Troy, scored 20 points off four first half turnovers. It was a feeling of deja vu as the Trojans out-gained Mississippi State in total yardage, 572-457, just as they did in last week’s loss to Louisiana-Lafayette in which Troy racked up 588 yards of offense but scored just 24 points.

“It’s very frustrating to move the ball up and down the field on a team like that and not be able to put it in the end zone,” quarterback Corey Robinson said. “A turnover or something, it seems to go wrong. That just show s us as an offensive group that nobody we face can really stop us.”

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Robinson, coming off a 485-yard performance against Louisiana-Lafayette, threw for 343 yards, but was intercepted twice.

“We’ve beaten Troy two weeks in a row now,” Robinson said. “If we take care of the ball, we’re 3-0 right now.”

Trailing 3-0 with 6:05 left in the first quarter, Troy took its only lead of the contest on a 1-yard touchdown run by Shawn Southward. The score was set up by a 37-yard completion from Robinson to Chandler Worthy.

Southward, who rushed for 204 yards in Week 1 against UAB, carried the ball 20 times for 137 yards and a pair of scores, the seventh multi- rushing touchdown game of his career. In doing so, he moved into third place on Troy’s career rushing touchdown list.

Troy out-rushed the Bulldogs 223-213 for the game.

The Trojans trailed 23-7 at halftime after kicker Will Scott missed a 26-yard field goal with just seconds remaining in the second quarter.

Troy responded in the second half scoring 14 unanswered points. Southward’s second score came with 4:17 left in the third quarter while Justin Albert broke a 31-yard touchdown run in the opening minutes of the fourth to cut the deficit to 23-21.

Mississippi State would take the ensuing drive and chew up 5:32 off the clock. The Bulldogs converted two fourth downs on the drive, the last being a 25-yard completion from quarterback Tyler Russell to Chad Bumphis to ice the game.

Bumphis, with scores of 72, 58 and 25 yards, had a career-high 180 receiving yards.

Scott added a field goal for the Trojans late to cap the scoring.

“It’s encouraging, but we can’t do the things we do to ourselves that get us beat,” head coach Larry Blakeney said. “I’m hurt because we lost, but I’m ready to get back to work tomorrow.”