Making the Grade – South Alabama
I listened to Troy-South Alabama on the radio while attending a wedding. That’s dedication! Fortunately, the hotel had DVR so I recorded the CSS broadcast and went back and watched. Here’s a breakdown of how the Trojans fared on Saturday.
A – Sun Belt Champion contenders
B – Solid showing
C – Good enough to win
D – Frustrating to watch
F – Remotes are flying at the TV
Corey Robinson had an off game throwing three interceptions. Two of them were thoughtless passes. Prior to the season Robinson made reference to cutting down on his mistakes which included throwing the ball to the other team. As a freshman, Robinson threw 15 INTs. He matched that number last season and is currently on pace to surpass that this season. Interceptions aside, Robinson was 15-for-24 for 223 yards. Deon Anthony threw the only touchdown pass of the game for Troy, a 7-yard strike to Chandler Worthy. Shawn Southward, D.J. Taylor and Anthony combined to give Troy a nice ground attack, rushing for a combined 158 yards. Worthy even got in on the action with three carries for 30 yards.
Conclusion: Same song, different verse. Troy can move the football, but they turn it over too much. The Trojans finished with 5 turnovers for the game. Cut back on the mistakes and the sky is the limit with this group. GRADE: C
The defense followed its best performance in some time against North Texas with another solid outing. Holding an offense to just 10 points will win a team a lot of games. Though South Alabama doesn’t have the best offense the Trojans will face this season, it was good to see the defense have many breakdowns. The Jaguars managed just 252 yards of total offense, and safety Brynden Trawick finally got his first interception in a Troy uniform. The senior also recorded nine tackles. Corner Bryan Willis also picked off a pass in the game. Camren Hudson and Dimitri Miles recovered fumbles to give Troy’s defense four turnovers after not forcing one in the last three games. The big stat on top of the four turnovers was eight of South Alabama’s 15 drives ended in a three-and-out.
Conclusion: Troy limited big plays, stopped the run and forced four turnover… a winning combination. GRADE: B+
Will Scott made good from 21 yards, but had a 37-yard attempt blocked. Scott averaged 43.7 yards on his three punts. The return team didn’t do anything special, but didn’t make big mistakes like it had in previous games.
Conclusion: While Scott is a solid kicker and punter, he and the special teams unit have made crucial mistakes at times this season. The blocked field goal wasn’t a game-changer, but if the Trojans want to climb back to the top of the Sun Belt standings, they must convert those opportunities. GRADE: C