Troy spoils South Alabama’s debut, wins 31-10

Published 9:57 pm Saturday, September 29, 2012

Brynden Trawick intercepts a pass against South Alabama. (Photo/Kevin Glackmeyer, Troy University)

Mobile, Ala. – On a day where the sun never poked through the clouds in Mobile, the Troy defense shined brightly for the second straight week.

The Trojans spoiled the first Sun Belt in South Alabama’s brief history by knocking off their in-state opponent 31-10.

South Alabama could only muster 252 yards of offense against the Trojans. Troy gave up just 52 yards through the air, and took command of the game in the second half to set the tone for the offense.

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“After you play a team for a half, you sort of scout them as you go,” said Blakeney. “In the second half, we played them better, got some tackles and some big tackles for loss that helped out.

Kanorris Davis led the Troy defensive unit with 11 tackles, five solo. Davis plays the game of football like players of years gone by. The senior takes the motto of ‘See ball, hit ball’ on the field every game.

“My motto carries over in to every game,” said Davis. “If you stop them, they can’t score. If I see a play, I am going to go make it.”

Brynden Trawick also turned a good performance for Troy. Trawick finished the slippery afternoon with 9 tackles and a big interception that thwarted a chance for the Jaguars to score in the second quarter.

South Alabama, down 17-7 at the time, drove the ball down to the Troy 9. On a third and seven play, Jaguar quarterback C.J. Bennett fired a pass across the middle that Trawick stepped in front of at the goal line.

“All week we have been stressing the passing game,” said Trawick. “They have speedy receivers on the outside, and coach came up with a great game plan. We came out tonight and executed.”

Troy quarterback Corey Robinson had an up and down day at the helm of the Trojan offense. Robinson finished the afternoon going 15-24 for 223 yards, and rushing for a touchdown in second quarter.

But Robinson also threw three interceptions, one on the first play of the game and two more deep in Jaguar territory.

The two teams combined for nine turnovers, some of which Robinson said could be blamed on the rainy weather.

“On two of them (the interceptions) rain was a factor,” said Robinson. “But no excuses, we just have to get better.”

The first ever meeting between Troy and South Alabama was billed as the beginning of a rivalry. Troy and South Alabama will see each other on the football schedule and recruiting landscape for the next few years, but Blakeney feels that the rivalry between the two schools has more history to it than Saturday’s football game.

“I don’t care what anyone says that rivalry has been there for a long time with men’s and women’s sports,” said Blakeney. “Not it’s just reached the football field. I’m just really proud of our people.”

While some of the Troy players were cautious to label the game a rivalry after just one contest, the South Alabama players had a different take.

“There was a lot of pushing and shoving after the whistle and stuff,” said Trey Clark, a South Alabama offensive lineman. “All the big rivalry games have that, and we did today as well.”

The win gave Troy two conference wins in a row, and momentum headed in to a Thursday night ESPN game against Western Kentucky on October 11.

Blakeney said that the Hilltoppers are entirely different from all the other teams in the Sun Belt.

“They will get in a wing-T type offense, some little west coast stuff,” said Blakeney. “They are kind of like Stanford, and are very good at what they do.”

Blakeney said that the Trojans will enjoy the win over South Alabama for “the next 24 hours or so” and then begin preparation for WKU.